The Progressive Aspect : Excellent Dwiki Dharmawan – Pasar Klewer Review in U.K

December 15, 2016

The Progressive Aspect : Excellent Dwiki Dharmawan – Pasar Klewer Review in U.K

MoonJune’s Indonesian jungle raids have mostly returned with splendid guitarists, but Dharmawan is a keyboard player whose instrument of choice is the piano, the acoustic version of which he restricts himself to on this wondrous double CD. His playing has a fluid liquidity, often enlivened by a ferocious element, evoking mental images of rapids coursing through rain forests, especially when accompanied by jungle-esque found sounds, as on the expansive 12-minute opening title track.

Pasar Klewer is named after the largest textile market on Java, a hustling and bustling place represented in the cover painting, depicting the market denizens being entertained by a local folk group. The album was recorded in London in 2015 using Dharmawan’s core trio, which in addition to the pianist comprises bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer/percussionist Asaf Sirkis. These three are backed by a multi-national ensemble, and it is indeed fitting that the record was recorded in the world’s most multi-cultural city, hence the track in tribute, the foggy London In June, an odd amalgamation of Boris Salvoldelli’s chirping and whooping scat vocals and a jazzy vibe from the band, led by Dwiki’s highly expressive piano excursion.

The instrumentation on this album is stunning…no, really, it is. The third track Campuhan features a gamelan orchestra and percussion, and Gilad Atzmon’s sax work here is simply the best I’ve heard in many a moon. Atzmon’s solo surges along on waves of piano and drumming counterpoint before floating back down to the core melody, where he is joined by Dwiki’s waterfall of piano notes, and the track is by then only just past halfway into its 13 minutes. To say that Campuhan is mesmerising is but a fraction of the praise this one track deserves. That the rest of the album lives up to it is testament to Dharmawan’s compositional and arrangement capacities, and the skill of the players he has surrounded himself with.