web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Please Confirm Itinerary
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Friday, December 01, 2006
Please Confirm Itinerary

Hello, the one who is concerned. If you have time to read this blog, it means you can't be that busy. I'm pasting the itinerary here because I am too lazy to blog about what is really happening, and since I would have to write a lot in this itinerary anyway, it might as well qualify as a post.

Okaylah, cannot be so lazy mah. Must feed the hungry blog monster. Here is what I have been doing :
Saiffuddin and I went to see the Jakarta Jazz Festival, or "Jazz in the Park", last Friday, and were greeted on arrival by a huge billboard featuring the Jakarta governor playing an instrument (oh, I forget which. It was some percussion). Alas, I failed to bump into Ahmad Dhani even though apparently, he was there on the same evening I was. Well, perhaps it was not the best time to look out for rock musicians. The festival had about 9 stages where various acts were presented, including of course the requisite "bule" performers. I'd say it was a missed note samba, some were good, some were lounge music masquearading as jazz. The "bule" stuff were awful -- they were mostly cover bands, and everything was covered, from Nina Simone to Julie Andrews. Bleaghh.

But worth the price of admission were the the hard-boiled Indonesian jazzmen. Kiboud Maulana and his band, as well as the chanteuse Coco York were phenomenal. Kiboud Maulana looks like your Uncle Chong the retired accountant, and his band members look equally ledger-like (okay, the drummer looks like he was an LLN technician back when it was called LLN), but they can really, really play. Kiboud Maulana had a guitar that was on fire. He didn't move much, in fact he wears the same expression as Uncle Chong when Uncle Chong waters the garden, but believe me, Kiboud's guitar was on fire. Coco York had a voice that was a caramel latte with cigarretes; and she had more soul than the entire park put together. My only regret was when she offered to sing Corcovado, the crowd seemed not to know the song, so she sang a blues number instead.

After Uncle Chong, we went over to watch Tompi, but we had to stand way at the back, as understandably, legions of his fans had already occupied all of the seats. Tompi and his Groovology put up a slick show, but it wasn't a display of musical vitrtuoso, which you would expect at a jazz concert. I guess his mistake was inviting Indon pianist non-pareil, Idang Rasjidi to join him on stage and play impromptu at the beginning of the show, because after that, everyone else sounded mediocre. Tompi himself, however, wasn't dissapointing, although I had hoped he would do the Nanggroe Acheh song that evening. Maybe he wanted to keep things safe.

We went from venue to venue after that, because I had this urge to hear some horns and there was none to be found. Most acts were guitar and keyboard, and therefore mostly funk. Not all were bad, but I won't be rushing out to buy their albums. I was adamant to get my ticket's worth, and I didn't want to pay the extra hundred rupiah to watch Salena Jones in the main hall, unless Salena Jones decides she'd play the alto sax. Finally, just before we were about to give up and head home, Saiffuddin and I dipped our heads into the smoky Impro Stage, and there was Canizzaro and Mus Mujiono, who looks like Brian May if Brian May had too much tempe. Oh, they were smokin'. It wasn't long before you got lost in every breath that came out of their sinous brass instruments, every heartbeat the drum made, every wail of the guitar. I didn't know most of the compositions, but it did seem as though they made them up as they went along, which is what jazz is all about. Oh, I did know one song, the Mus Mujiono hit that he sang that night : Arti Kehidupan. It had a catchy refrain, which went : Engkau bukan yang pertama, tapi pasti yang terakhir, di cintamu, ku temui arti hidupku. So nice.

Perhaps Friday wasn't a good night to sample the best that JakJazz had to offer, but I only had one night off from being mommy. I would have wanted to see Luluk Purwianto and her violin, and I would have wanted to hear the Big Band and the Latina combos that would have probably rocked everyone later on. Also, I am not as knowledgeable about Indonesian jazz as I would have liked, which might have helped me in my selection of acts. But all in all, Saiffuddin and I enjoyed ourselves and we would be searching for more gigs featuring these magnificent Indonesian jazz musicians.

One thing I liked about the festival was that it wasn't an exclusivist affair. Everyone was welcome : there were the young enthusiasts, dressed in black, with their pretty girlfriends, the young-in-the-80's jazz crowd, and then there were also the lovely Indonesian tante-tante's, sitting there in the dark with their handfans and their pearls, or bedecked in colourful tudung, holding hands with their batik-shirted husband. No matter what they call jazz -- and everyone has a right to listen to what they like and call it good -- everyone had a good time. I like.

But next time, more brass!

I know I'm supposed to write down someone's holiday itinerary, but I got carried away with my review, so next post yah?


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