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Ligro — Dictionary 2
(Moonjune MJR047, 2012, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-11-05

Dictionary 2 Cover artThis album follows Ligro’s 2008 debut Dictionary 1. In the intervening years the trio (Adi Darmawan: bass, Agam Hamzah: guitar, Gusti Hendi: drums) has been gigging steadily and their reputation for world-class fusion has spread. The term fusion implies a melding of jazz and rock, though these tracks lean hard to the hot electric side of the equation. Imagine early Mahavishnu as a power trio and you have a sense of this band’s sound. Unison runs fly off the fingers on “Etude Indienne” and “Future,” though this is a group happy to delve into the blues-y swing of “Don Juan” or classical motifs on “Stravinsky.” Hamzah’s guitar can sing like Holdsworth or Beck, though more often than not he favors a loose and almost intentionally sloppy style with a small amp sound that evokes a garage band ethos. He and Hendi make a vital team, the latter revealing throughout why he’s one of the most exciting drummers working in Indonesia today. He feeds off of Hamzah’s reckless abandon with an equally carefree approach to rhythm and percussive color. It’s a good thing those two have a bassist like Darmawan, whose round, warm tone provides just the right amount of cushion for all the hard edged frequencies. He might also be the best musician in the band, combining a virtuoso command of the bass with surprising skill as a pianist, as seen on “Bliker 3.” Ligro have produced an album that is complex, rocking, engaging and thoroughly satisfying. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Ligro

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