MoonJune label owner Leonardo Pavkovic is known not only for keeping the fusion tradition alive and well through releases by many notorious chopsters in the storied realm but also for discovering new creatives in various parts of the world where the chances for exposure aren't terribly encouraging. One of his most impressive recent finds has been simakDialog, an Indonesian band standing solidly with the old-school tradition. Though the band's a sextet, it's unusually composed, consisting of two front instruments—keyboards and guitar—athwart a four-man rhythm section: bass player and three percussionists.
The 6th Story is, as the title suggests, the ensemble's sixth disc but the third on MoonJune. The songs are long and involved, the lead-off being a full 10 minutes with much Joe Zawinul ivory synth tickling from Riza Arshad (who has eschewn the Ratledge influences this time around), Tohpati (Tohpati Ethnomission, Tohpati Bertiga) dancing his guitar above, below, and all around Arshad, Holdsworthian here, Boyle-esque there, even copping Scofield licks when the occasion arises. The percussives are sophisticated in a Santana fashion while bassist Adhithya Pratama often lurks just under the keyboards, adding coloration, perambulating, spiking up the punctuation, and gesturing in the profound tones native to the instrument.
Lain Parantina contains plenty of Canterbury, and there's a late summer feel to the entire repertoire, the time when hedonistic warmth is just beginning to fade as Fall comes on a little darker, cool winds gathering, clouds scudding in the distance. More than once, I was mindful of the old Isotope band (Gary Boyle's past haunt) with, as noted in the Demi Masa review (here), Egg, Gilgamesh, and others. Ah, but then Weather Report rounds the corner again (For Once and Never), and things shift gears. Regardless, this is head, and headphone, music for those unafraid to tackle its mathematical complexities.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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