Swing Out, Sister! A Java Jazz Fest Virgin Experience

Me & Corinne Drewery Photo

It’s been the 6th Java Jazz Festival already, but haven’t been to it until this year of 2012. It was a last minute decision. The words of JJF is already buzzing on my Twitter stream, but hasn’t compelled to move it and buy ticket. The fact that Stevie Wonder’s special show ticket has already reached a staggering Rp.1.8 million even encouraged me more.

Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy jazz, but not that crazy about it. I am compelled more into Java Rockin’ Land Festival more because, yeah, I’m a rock guy. But on the 1st day of Java Jazz Show I took a peak at the line-up, and it was great! All the special show, even the free shows are great. I frantically look for tickets on Twitter. A friend reached me through BBM and offered me a One-Day Pass ticket, she said she can’t make it on Sunday. But than being a lazy ass as myself I procrastinated until the next morning, eventually her ticket was sold out to another guy. But luckily some tweeps replied me on Friday, offering me to sell theirs. I reached out to one of the seller, exchanged no & BBM Pin, and had agreed to transact Saturday night at Rumah Kayu restaurant, as far as Serpong, near Summarecon Mall Serpong.

Then there I was, after a jam session with guys from Pearl jam Indonesia (photos) that Saturday (4 Mar 12,) I was going to JJF Day #3 by taxi. It was an impulsive decision so hadn’t gotten in touch with friends to meetup there. All I am looking forward to is the Swing Out Sister, the other act was just bonus. There, the rain was starting to fall when I exchanged my invitation which I bought for a bargain (Rp.250,000.)

Hasn’t done much of an orientation. Didn’t buy the program book/magazine which was quite expensive (Rp.25,000), let alone it’s just an impromptu concert going, only a day. Went straight in front of D3 hall, and wait in line. Queued till 20 minutes late then the door opened. Then I scrambled inside, and get front and center, right in front of the barricade. There’s white curtains hanging in front of the stage. Some lights are slightly on, giving a sillhouette of might happened behind the curtains. From the band sound-checking their instruments to Corrine Drewery stretching out for a warm-up.

After more ‘waiting game’ (no pun intended) the curtains opened. I always thought of Swing Out Sister as this jazz-pop moniker with cute Corinne Drewery and suave Andy Connell building up that image of Swing Out Sister as a hip and cool band, which they maintained gracefully while still give relevance to today’s music scene. Corinne is still beautiful at her age, while Andy has gain much weight. this time around, besides their standard band (Corinne: vocals, Andy: keyboards, backing vocals, guitars, upright bass, percussions) they also bring along a 9-piece brass section, forming a Big Band.

Through the opening song Twilight World I still can’t believe my eyes and ears. Swing Out Sister rearranged all their repertoire into more of a jazz arrangement. Their brass section also gave the arrangements fresh. By the 2nd song You On My Mind my tears started to fall while I sang along with them. That what music can do to your soul, because my fondness of them from since my junior high school.

You On My Mind

Breakout

Right after I secured my place front and center, met my friend Ayu Bulandini, Sigit Yuwono and their friends. After the satisfaction of Swing Out Sister, we went outside and eat some Amigos’ beef burritos, then went to see Mayer Hawthorne. Known this artist from tweets of one of my followings months ago. Apparently Mayer Hawthorne already had a gig on clubs in Jakarta (I thought it was Dragonfly) so I assumed that he’s a DJ. Then he showed up, played that guitar and synth, and I like his music right away. With a backing band titled “The County”, Mayer Hawthorne is straight up ‘white’ pop soul artist. Didn’t manage to pinpoint what genre he is until he covers Hall & Oates. Yeah, he’s the ‘Hall & Oates’ for this hipster generation. Let alone his cool and nerdy look, a soul version of River Cuomo, wins his fans over. Will definitely check his music out.

Then we went to go see this alternative-jazz from japan Soil+Pimp. It’s a jazz with extended skills to belong in the same rack with Mr. Bungle. The trumpet & saxophone is resemblance with John Zorn’s work on Mr. Bungle. Other members on keyboard, drums and upright bass are skillful too. Pretty good to hear for me maybe 15 years ago, but not this old me. But still appreciate their music.

All in all it was a great virgin Java Jazz Fest experience for me. The event are splendidly organized, big kudos for Peter Gontha, Dewi Gontha & EQ Puradiredja of Java Festival Productions.

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