Once again obtained about the history of Jazz in http://shootandwrite.blogspot.com/2007/02/indonesian-jazz-history.html site. The site is named: Journey of Thousand Dreams. Issued on Saturday, 24 February 2007. Label: Indonesian Jazz History.
Few articles in the Indonesian jazz history, taken from a mail-list. To increase our knowledge of jazz homeland. Welcomed the performance arena as well as the Java Jazz Festival-be held next week at the JCC. (starting in 2010 Java Jazz Festival is show at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran – RED). Enjoy !
Indonesian Jazz History:
Although the musical style known as jazz was first synthesized in the United States in the years just before the First World War, it is today a music that knows no international boundaries. Good jazz is now being played on every continent. What’s more, some its most talented musicians – and the most fervent fans- are Asian.
Jazz first began to be heard in Indonesia in the late Thirties when it was played by the visiting Filipino musicians who had come to Indonesia to earn their livings as entertainers. Through their playing, many Indonesian listeners first had the opportunity to hear wind instruments (trumpets, saxophones and so on) usually then featured only in so-called “serious” music played in an exciting new way. That early jazz-influenced music had quite an impact on young people of the day and represented a real contrast to the staid European heritage that then represented “high culture.”
Among the other musical elements introduced by these visitors from the Philippines were Latin rhythms – rumbas, sambas, boleros, and more. Many old-timers still recall the names of the more prominent of the visiting Filipino stars: Soleano, Garcia, Pablo, Baial, Torio, Barnarto, and Samboyan. Some stayed for long periods in Jakarta and were even featured as soloists with the Indonesian Radio Orchestra. Others found opportunities to play in cities in various regions of the country.
Samboyan, for example, became leader of the Bandung Studio Orchestra. Through the process of observation and osmosis, these new musical influences began to be reflected in the playing of young Indonesian musicians.
Where were theses intriguing new orchestras and smaller groups being heard around Indonesia in the late Thirties (?) Filipino musicians were entertaining and playing for dancers at Hotel Des Indes (on what is now the site of Duta Merlin Plaza), at Hotel Der Nederlander (there are government offices in that location today), at the Savoy Homann Hotel in Bandung, and at the Orange Hotel in Surabaya. At these and other popular spots, the Dutch mingled on occasion with upper-crust Indonesians.
It is said that the first song composed by an Indonesian specifically to entertain (and using a standard song pattern) was one called “Als de Orchideen Bloeien” (“When The Orchids Bloom”) by Ismail Marzuki. The lyrics were in Dutch and the date of publication was November 1939.
Western-influenced music was banned by the Japanese during their occupation. However, Asian music was allowed. And so was keroncong, which was regarded as traditional music. But with the expulsion of the Japanese and the new availability of Western recordings, a broad musical revolution began to occur. Certain individual musicians began to garner local reputations for the clever ways; they adapted overseas influences as a part of their own styles. Pianist Marihot Hutabarat, for example, played with a flair not unlike George Shearing’s. He often accompanied singer Sal Saulius Hutabarat, whose baritone voice was said to resemble Billy Eckstine’s. Bing Slamet’s singing, on the other hand, reflected the influence of Bing Crosby’s popular records.
Over sixty Dutch musicians came to Indonesia in 1948 with the intention of organizing a symphony orchestra made up primarily of local musicians. Before they returned to Holland around the time of independence, they had established the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Among the best known of these Dutch musicians were Baarspoel, Fritz Hintze, Henk te Strake, and Jose Cleber. Some of them lingered beyond their original period of commitment and helped to form ensembles of other sorts.
Cleber’s Jakarta Studio Orchestra featured big band arrangements that sounded a lot like what Stan Kenton’s band was doing in California around that time. Other prominent groups of the time included The Progressive Trio (with Dick Able as guitarist, Nick Mamahit on piano, and Dick van der Capellen playing bass); Iskandar’s Sextet and Octet, which played modern jazz arrangements; The Old Timers, led by Eto Latumeten on tenor saxophone and playing a Dixieland repertoire.
In 1955, Bill Saragih formed the Jazz Riders with himself on piano, vibes, and flute, Didi Chia on piano, Paul Hutabarat as vocalist, Herman Tobing on bass, and Yuse on drums. A later edition featured Hanny Joseph playing drums, Sutrisno playing tenor saxophone, Thys Lopis on bass and Bob Tutupoly as featured singer.
As the jazz style became more popular, other names gained prominence: pianists Taslan Suyatno and Mus Mualim, trumpeter Ari Tess, drummer Benny van Dietz (Benny Mustafa), and many others. The leading lights in Surabaya between 1945 and 1950 were Jack Lemmers / Jack Lesmana (bass), Bubi Chen (piano), Teddy Chen, Jopy Chen (bass), Maryono (saxophone), Berges (piano), Oei Boen Leng (guitar), Didi Pattirane (guitar), Mario Diaz (drums), and Benny Heinem (clarinet). During the Fifties and Sixties, the big names on the Bandung jazz scene were Eddy Karamoy (guitar), Joop Talahahu (tenor saxophone), Leo Massenggi, Benny Pablo, Dolf (alto saxophone), John Lepel (bass), Iskandar (guitar and piano), and Sadikin Zuchra (guitar and piano).
Among the younger musicians who began to be heard in Jakarta during the Seventies and Eighties are the late Perry Pattiselano (bass), Embong Raharjo (saxophone), Luluk Purwanto (violin), Oele Pattiselano (guitar), Jackie Pattiselano (drums), Benny Likumahuwa (trombone and bass), Bambang Nugroho (piano), Elfa Secioria (piano). Some of these younger players leaned toward rock and fusion, but occasionally had opportunities to play in a jazz context: Yopie Item (guitar), Karim Suweileh (drums), Wimpy Tanasale (bass), Abadi Soesman (keyboards), Candra Darusman (keyboards), Christ Kayhatu (piano), Joko WH (guitar), and many others.
There are doubtless many other names deserving of mention. The list above represents only a cross-section of musical talent in past decades. The musical scene in Indonesia today is a busy one, with many chances for talented players to earn their livings playing for television, in nightclubs and as back-up for pop singers. But many of them would like to have the chance to play real jazz more often because it’s music that stimulates and challenges them. As lovers of this music, we should support them wherever and whenever we can. Our enthusiasm will allow them to keep the music as vital and as omnipresent as it should be!
Posted by Titis Sapto at 6:00 PM