Dwiki Dharmawan, So Far So Close, 2015
A new name on the Moonjune Records label for me is keyboard player and singer Dwiki Dharmawan. But on board with him are a lot of more or less familiar names: Jimmy Haslip on bass, Chad Wackerman on drums, Jerry Goodman on violin, Nyoman Windha on percussion, flute and vocals and label mates Tohpati and Dewa Budjana on guitars. Which instantly gives away the music style on this, fusion.
As it turns out, Dharmawan has been at it for over 30 years and is as seasoned as his guests. The result being an album filled to the brim with exciting songs that are built around melodic themes to make it easy to grow into them, as well as solo parts on various instruments to show the capabilities of all involved. And since I am a melody guy, I am pleased to say that these melodies carry most of the tunes and carry them very well. As expected the playing is top notch through out. Arufa is an energetic start of the album, where follow up Bromo is a far more introspective piece. The use of Fender Rhodes, hammond organ and piano creates a warm environment, but also synths are used for additional sphere and soloing. The only song that did not do much for me is longest track on offer, Jembrana’s Fantasy. It does the title justice by being fragmented and seemingly free of form. But all the other songs are prime examples of how exciting fusion can be.
This will surely appeal to people to all not too familiar with the genre, so make sure to give it a listen.