The article first appeared on Indonesia Jazz Review, 6 March 2015.
Dutch saxophonist Benjamin Herman performed in Jakarta for the first time on 5 March 2015, in Erasmus Huis. Described as a loose, witty, and vigorous player, the free-jazz style Benjamin was one of the most productive jazz players in the Netherlands, having made a dozen solo albums and over a hundred records with all kinds of artists. Last night he played with his trio band, bringing the bassist Ernst Glerum and drummer Joost Patocka. Young pianist and soul-like singer Daniel von Piekartz, whom Benjamin had worked with since they first met in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and performed together at 2011 North Sea Jazz festival, showed his talent as a frontman in the band, taking the audience througout the show with a variety of tempo, from the slow, deep blues, to ragtime and bebop. Their set list was mostly influenced by the authentic American golden 50’s jazz style. It was an impressive show, but to those who particularly expect new, contemporary elements from a European jazz band, they would just have to slightly pardon the typicality. The closing track Trouble came from Benjamin’s 16th solo album, released in 2014, which was also a joint project with Daniel.