VERITAS VAMPIRUS #1,254 – Back to the Pac Attack!!!

December 15, 2016

VERITAS VAMPIRUS #1,254 – Back to the Pac Attack!!!

DWIKI DHARMAWAN – Pasar Klewer (2016 /MoonJune)

2015 saw the MoonJune debut of Dwiki Dharmawan, a pianist of highly notable acumen and a music icon in his home country of Republik Indonesia as well as a peace activist. Now comes 2016’s offering, the CD two-fer Pasar Klewer, a knock-out gatherum of stellar talent in a World fusion extravaganza re-showcasing Dharmawan’s zenith chops, along with the dizzying flights of intense sessioneers, in the process once more proving label owner Leonardo Pavkovic’s specialty talent for locating prime aesthetes in the Pacific Rim and adjacent territories much ignored in the West.

Dharmawan remains on acoustic piano throughout the looooong affair, a gloriously jagged, ever-changing, kaleidoscopic whirlwind that will bring back many 70s memories of ensembles like Centipede, Weather Report, Ailana, Tony Oxley’s many formations, and the derring-do of the Nonesuch label and its avant-garde borders-stretching radicals while incorporating Mark Wingfield, Boris Salvodelli, Gilad Atzmon, Yaron Stavi, Asaf Sirkis, Nicolas Meier, Aris Daryono, Peni Candra Rini, Gamelon Jess Jegog, and, live from their smashing tour of the most celebrated swamplands of Earth, Balinesian frogs!!…one cut only, I’m sorry to say, as the amphibs are notoriously fickle, careful to preserve their zen rectitude outside sacred swampy sanghas, thus wary of fame, chary of expounding their wondrous virtues.

Dharmawan leaps from style to style and genre to genre as lithely as an Olympic athlete, along the way incorporating many a prime figure: Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Greg Mills, Richie Beirach, Keith Tippett and Jarrett, Chick Corea (Circle period and post), Paul Bley, even George Winston! In fact, it would be a mistake to start anywhere in this generous CD and think that things will remain static for very long at all. Disciplined chaos and anarchy reign supreme within a stratosphere of finely honed discretions and obtuse melody lines. Atzmon, a major presence, is as golden as ever, as much at home in ballads elsewhere as in the beyond-the-pale jazz dominating this enterprise, while Wingfield and Meier toss in any number of Metheny / Scofield / Whitfield / etc. lines, Stavi (bass) and Sirkis (perc.) maintaining a clatterously refined rhythm section.

This is not music for a Sunday tea social or the seasonal Girl Scout Cookie marathon. I suggest either a private solo indulgence or a small gathering of your friendliest most intimate lunatic friends – with or without herbal, chemical, or alcoholic aid – and a well-controlled post-beatnik back parlor (don’t want things getting too crazy, tho’, y’all!). Don’t turn the volume up too loud, although you’ll be sorely tempted to, unless you like the idea of Republican neighbors arriving suddenly at your doorstep – cudgels, flaming brands, and horsewhips in hand. No, not a good idea. If, however, the bastards on the block are spinning Mantovani or 101 Strings, then pin the volume knob and drive ‘em into the ocean. Even God has no time for that kinda nonsense.