Indonesia and jazz? Not so far-fetched! Improvisation is a part of traditional gamelan, and modal playing goes back 1000 years; jazz began seriously delving into modes with Miles Davis in the 1950’s. Clarinet icon Tony Scott proselytized jazz during his six-year sojourn in Asia, and in so doing brought Asian music masters, including players on this album, into the jazz world. Down Beat called pianist Bubi Chen “The Art Tatum of Asia”, and saxophonist Marjono, whose influences include John Coltrane, is an authority on traditional Balinese and Javanese music. Djanger Bali is a Balinese sitting dance with a gamelan-style melody and the pentatonic Bali-Javanese pelog scale for improvisation. Mahlke rollicks with a guitar-clarinet duo – this group can smoke on straight-ahead jazz changes. Javanese for xylophone and flute, Gambang Suling keeps to the feel of this piece from central Java. Marjono sings the lyrics on the Javanese children’s ghost song Ilir Ilir. There’s a taste of Caribbean, swing, and gamelan in the play. Burungkaka Tua is taken at ballad pace with beautiful solos by Bubi on piano and Marjono on flute. Summertime is all about heated solos and the juxtaposition of the pelog and Dorian scales. A classy early exploration of world music combining the best of both worlds.