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Live Reviews

Jazz Gunung 2010, Bromo, Indonesia

By Published: July 15, 2010
A notable tunesmith, most of the melodies Syaharani sang were turning around the head long after the performance was over. "Mungkin (Katakan)" began as the gentlest of ballads and featured the wonderfully named Ivano Coconut on pianica; Coconut, who hails from Papua, also impressed with his infectious jembe playing. The song grew gradually to a powerful crescendo which was sustained by the free-spirited vocal improvisation of Syaharani.

A funky bass line from Kristian Dharma led into the ultra catchy "Sayan Sayan Sayan." Never missing an opportunity to involve the crowd, Syaharani left the stage and brought her microphone close up and personal, inviting adults and children to sing the highly melodic refrain in a wonderfully good humored atmosphere. Bringing the tempo down a notch, Syaharani sang the title track of her album Anytime accompanied by acoustic guitar and jembe initially, before being joined by the rest of the band in a stirring finale. Suhendra's flowing guitar solo on this number underlined his status as one of the finest in Indonesia.

A memorable concert culminated with the tune "De'dia" which saw the irrepressible singer lead a human chain which snaked its way around the grounds before dissolving in dance in front of the stage. From jazz standards and swing to irresistible self-penned pop tunes, Syaharani and QueenFireworks gave a high energy performance which would have served as the perfect closing statement for Jazz Gunung, except that the final chorus came from an all-hands-on-deck jam session.

The youngest of eight jazz festivals in Indonesia, and for the time being perhaps the smallest, Jazz Gunung has nevertheless laid solid foundations for the future. The unique location combined with a varied program of the best in Indonesian jazz—and from next year international acts are penciled in —means that Jazz Gunung has every possibility of developing into one of the must-see events on the Asian jazz festival calendar.

Photo Credits

Page 4, photo 2: Kushindarto/

All other photos: Ian Patterson

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