I always have this belief: whoever loves freedom, he would love jazz. Of course I know that freedom and jazz are not as simple as my belief.
Jazz was born in the suffering era of African-Americans in New Orleans, USA. It was initially performed by Afro-American talents, and later, it was genially improved by many musicians of various mainstreams. The root of jazz could be blues, but the tunes of jazz are much more complicated since it is quite flexible to be “tailored”. The process of inventing jazz was nothing but an attempt to find ways to express ingenuity of music, feeling, skill, rhythm and vocal exploration in one piece. It is indeed true that several jazz mainstreams are complicated skill-wise. But once we catch the tunes of jazz, an enormous feeling would flow as if the tunes are perceivable music.
Indonesia has plenty of jazz musicians. Jazz blooms in campus, cafe or even in clumsy studio. Pioneers of jazz in Indonesia are Jack Lesmana, Ireng Maulana, Bubi Chen, etc. The best part of them was the ability to educate young musicians to play a better jazz. Musicians like Indra Lesmana, Dewa Budjana, Tohpati, and groups like Krakatau, Java Jazz, Simak Dialog, and others represent the modern Indonesian jazz. Modern jazz musicians have been benefited from Indonesian democracy since 1998. Many jazz events are all over the place. Jazz is extensively promoted in Indonesia to reach unlimited classes. Jazz in Indonesia serves many ears and many levels. Musicians have no easy job in Indonesia. But they know that Indonesians love jazz for some reason. Jazz is currently evolving into acceptable format in Indonesia. We got to be proud of it anyway.
Tohpati may perform “soft” in many events, but listening to his pieces in Simak Dialog album makes me realize that this guy is really awesome. Dewa Budjana is also a skillful player with a lot of ethnic syncretism and sound-effect modification: this fellow can be ranked in the first class of outstanding jazz musicians.