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I Know You Well Miss Clara: Chapter One

Album Review

First shot of Java from these young Indonesian fusioneers.

This group of very young musicians centre on guitarist Reza Ryan, and their debut showcases their own brand of instrumental fusion. Don’t expect high-energy, hard-edged Mahavishnu or funky and upbeat Return To Forever – IKYSWMC occupy the ‘organic free form electric jazz’ end of the spectrum, with mixed results.

All seven compositions here have specific musical themes and structures at their core, combined with a high level of improvisation (or clever orchestration that sounds improvised). 

Open The Door, See the Ground starts with over two minutes of slow, light interplay between piano and bass, the band kick in with a mid-tempo section that builds to an energised crescendo of terrific playing from Reza and band. But then there’s another two minutes of seemingly pointless rambling to the end. 

If you’re in no hurry to hear the exciting bits and enjoy both gentle and anarchic jazz explorations, this album has much to commend it, and repeated listens reveal real depth. Yet it’s tempting to observe that more disciplined arrangements and a more demanding producer might provide this self-evidently talented band with greater direction and purpose.

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