Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dwiki Dharmawan, So Far So Close

The progressive fusion realm goes ever forward to grow and develop in the hands of key players. MoonJune Records continues to spearhead the presentation of vibrant new efforts in the realm, today with an Indonesian keyboardist and a top-tier ensemble doing excellent things. I speak of Dwiki Dharmawan and his MoonJune debut album So Far So Close (MoonJune 075).

Dwiki has more than 30 years of performing under his belt and he shows what he can do as a keyboardist, composer and bandleader nicely. The band is something, too. We get Jimmy Haslip on electric bass and Chad Wackerman on drums and both hit the ground as ever they do, running. Then an old friend, Jerry Goodman of Flock and Mahavishnu fame, joins on violin for the first cut and shows us he still has it. The guitar mastery of Dewa Budjana and Tohpati is present for much of the time, with some incredible moments, and I Nyoman Windha plays traditional Indonesian instruments, and adds vocals on one of the numbers.

This is fusion that partakes of the golden age moments of the pre-trad '70s and '80s and updates it. Dwiki plays with assurance and fire and his arrangements-compositions ring nicely true.

An auspicious album, one that any fusionist will embrace and enjoy! Give it lots of spins!

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