With an exciting and quite eclectic roster, MoonJune Records are starting to also release some sizzling live albums from these very impressive musicians. Here we have the latest from simakDialog, a very talented conglomerate from Indonesia who undertook a small tour of the USA in 2013 that climaxed with a performance at Orion Studios in Baltimore, Maryland, captured here on this thrilling 2CD set. The line-up is Riza Arshad (Fender Rhodes electric piano), Tohpati (guitar), Rudy Zulkarnaen (bass), Endang Ramdan (Sundanese kendang percussion), Erland Surwardana (Sundanese kendang percussion), and Cucu Kurnia (assorted metal toys percussion), with special guest Beledo, another MoonJune favorite, on guitar for a few tracks.
Composer Ashad not only has put together some sensational '70s styled jazz-fusion here, but his skills on the Fender Rhodes are quite remarkable as well. If you love some of the classic sounds of Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, or Herbie Hancock, then you've come to the right place. His soaring explorations on "Stepping Inn" alongside some wonderful percussion from the trio is intoxicating, while on the vibrant opener "Throwing Words" the leader matches wits with a muscular Tohpati every step of the way. Speaking of the guitarist, his Allan Holdsworth-meets-David Torn-meets-Jeff Beck styled acrobatics are never less than jaw dropping. Check out his funky wah-wah licks on the scorching "For Once and Never", a real throwback to the Miles Davis Bitches Brew era (along with some killer grooves from rhythm team), and his tasty solo following an atmospheric turn from Ashad on the melodic "One Has to Be". "Lain Parentina" contains some lovely Latin flavors for all the Chick Corea & Return to Forever fans out there, while the 18-minute "This Spirit" builds and builds from an atmospheric intro to a thunderous wall of dissonance, again reminiscent of Miles Davis' late '60s & early '70s material. "Kemarau" is another groove laden funk machine with some fat bass lines courtesy of Zulkarnaen, wah-wah guitars, and plenty of airy Rhodes. The melodic "Disapih" brings to mind classic Weather Report, and the raging closer " 5, 6 " contains some of Tohpati's most savage playing in the set, with Arshad right there with him for the entire journey.
Honestly, for modern day jazz-fusion with a healthy nod to the '70s it doesn't get much better than this. MoonJune Records has been on quite a roll of late, and Live at Orion is another must hear release, sure to be one of the most talked about live jazz-fusion albums of 2015.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
Throwing Words 12:07
Stepping Inn 12:40
For Once And Never 08:36
One Has To Be 13:05
Lain Parantina 12:20
This Spirit 18:01
5, 6 11:30