Indonesian guitarist Tohpati, revered for his work with the ensemble simakDIALOG, tenders a captivating mission, pronouncing a rapidly-paced slant on Indo jazz-rock. The premise for this album underscores a positive aspect that communicates an upbeat outlook and musically diverse course of action. Here, the musicians engineer a poetic manifesto based on our collective environments. Featuring memorably melodic grooves and radiant interplay with flutist Diki Suwarjiki, the music seamlessly coalesces into a stylish world-beat program, touched with shades of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and more.
The band executes tricky and highly-rhythmic time signatures with finesse and precision. And the musicians’ synchronized gait also leaves room for expansive soloing jaunts. Tightknit and spiced with airy dreamscapes, the unit’s velvety, yet sometimes crunching 16th-note unison lines are steeped within East Asian overtones and hardcore jazz-fusion.
Tohpati’s electric guitar phrasings are devised within a hybrid jazz and prog-rock methodology. He also incorporates indigenous Indonesian themes into the mix. With the piece titled “Hutan Hujan (Rain Forest),” he fuses psycho-guitar and jazzy licks into oscillating patterns atop the rhythm section’s sturdy, yet pliant support. Then on “Biarkan Burung Bernyanyi (Let the Birds Sing),” the ensemble’s mystical side merges for a hybrid electro-organic muse as they elicit lucid imagery of an enchanted island amid the uplifting sounds of nature.
Save the Planet is an eco-friendly musical adventure that focuses on the good and not the bad. Tohpati and associates are purveyors of jubilance. Essentially, they craft a personalized group-centric modus operandi to complement a myriad of twists, turns and shrewdly articulated revelations. (A top pick for 2010…)