I'm both happy and impressed by new discoveries of jazz fusion from the country of Indonesia. Although Ligro was formed in 2004, in 2012 they release this, their debut recording. Their Bahasa name is artfully spelled backwards on the CD cover (except for the obvious and suggestive ‘G’,’R’ but one is left to guess if the 'I' and the 'O', that are palindromes already, are indeed meant to be as such) which translates to "crazy people". Any fan of the progressive world knows that this is a positive and most cherished thing. Great and creative music is also a prized thing, and this delivers those very things.
In over 73 minutes of rocket ship powered fusion, Ligro make small work out of very demanding chores. As a trio, the music sounds bigger than three people. Their music brings back the glory of the 70's fusion such as the Scope (Dutch band), Katamaran(German), the jam of the rock legends such as Hendrix, and the more jazz rock masters like Holdsworth and McLaughlin.
With that you get plenty in between. The opening cut alone (‘Paradox’) runs a course of a few miles in the fusion world. I find the second cut extremely interesting with a Bach intro on bass ( Adi Darmawan), but a title of ‘Stravinsky’. What they do with Stravinsky’s “An Easy Piece Using Five Notes” is smart and unique. This only temporarily slows things down for the first 3 minutes of the composition, then things pick back up into a hot fusion with neat pockets of styles created on lead guitar by Agam Hamzah. The drumming is busy and productive ( Gusti Hendy a most famous drummer in Indonesia and member of successful pop band Gigi), with a good ear and instinct for the 70's laced fusion jams.
Depending on how old you are, and/or how many thousands of records you have listened to over several decades, you will hear more than a dozen references over the 8 songs on “Dictionary 2". What makes it absorbing is the way they mix the styles all up into each song. And even when sticking fairly close to one style, Hamzah can mimic an assortment of classic guitarists. For instance, ‘Future’ ( track 3) written in the r & b style, goes from sounding like Jimi Hendrix, to Alvin Lee, to Eric Clapton, to Robin Trower. I like the contrast of ‘Bliker 3' ( track 5) with the classical piano intro and then the heavy funky fusion remainder. Again, this has that explorative 70's fusion feel when there was nothing in the way. And this is the key to Ligro’s music. There is nothing in the way. It’s all open territory, and I am positive that they will take advantage of this freedom.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on September 25th, 2012