Tohpati Ethnomission — Selamatkan Bumi (Save the Planet)
(Moonjune MJR035, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01This album has so much going for it I'm not sure where to begin. When you start it up, you hear a brief bit of bass, an interesting ambient wash of indistinct notes, and some echoing flute. Then the rhythm kicks in and you get what might be called energetic jazzy Latin fusion, with guitar and flute in the lead and some great percussion; mallet instruments provide additional flavor. The upbeat sections are contrasted by some quieter moments featuring some lovely sophisticated chording from the guitar. Then we move into the improvised section, with some great spacy work from both the lead players. The percussion keeps us on our toes, however, and all the weird noises build up to a fast unison melody between the guitar and marimba. I'm reminded of Caravanserai-era Santana crossed with Gazeuse-era Gong. The second track introduces yet another element, Indonesian vocals, which are melded into the sound more like another instrument than as the kind of lead role that vocals usually fill. The tracks range from short pieces, usually with scaled down instrumentation, to longer workouts, some of which have distinct sections. The short tune called "Drama" is a standout: 1:47 of fusion intensity that would have done Mahavishnu proud. The main takeaways are that Tohpati is an outstanding guitarist and these are great compositions. It's refreshing to hear a guitarist with his own voice - while he's often playing lines that are technically difficult, they never sound much like what we normally hear from a hot guitarist. This guy is definitely not a clone of Holdsworth, Vai, Satriani, McLaughlin, DiMeola, or any other influential guitarist you can name.
Related artist(s): Tohpati
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more