Once Upon a Night in Jakarta
Anissa Caprina with Lilik "Once Upon a Night in Jakarta" What if two working musicians from Jakarta who share a passion for jazz and pop standards got together in the studio one Saturday? The answer is "Once Upon a Night is Jakarta". The recordings here were performed live in Musika's studio one, often in a single take, none more than three takes. There are almost no punch-ins, or edits of any kind. Anissa Caprina met Lilik in July 2001 when Lilik asked Anissa to join his struggling club band. At the time Anissa was working in a different struggling club band, so it didn't work out. By the next year, both artists had given up on the Jakarta band scene and Lilik had a new acoustic act, one vocalist and two acoustic guitars playing standards and acoustic rock, when he again offered Anissa a job. That job lasted until December 2002, when Anissa went to the USA. By August, 2003, Anissa was back in Indonesia and discussions began for "Once Upon a Night in Jakarta". Between busy schedules, the artists got together several times during odd moments over the next month to choose songs and arrangements. With both artists often getting called at the last minute to fill-in, several attempts to get into the studio were aborted before things finally fell into place one Saturday in October. The engineer fiddled with the knobs until he had the sounds all dialed in and the artists pealed through their repertoire. Fourteen songs had been selected for these sessions and, as it happened, nine were recorded before the clock on the wall said the session was over. The artists met back up in studio four on March 8, 2004 for mixing and in spare moments recorded three more songs. Anissa Caprina's musical career began in 6th grade, when, at the urging of her grade school teacher, and without her parents' permission, she joined her school's singing competition and won. On her way home, she worried how she would explain to her parents why she was late. Trying to hide the 1st prize trophy behind her back didn't make her task any easier. She decided honesty was the best option, and when her parents discovered that she had won, they supported her fully. Over the next several years she was a mainstay on the Indonesian music festival circuit, taking 1st place 15 times and other placings that are now beyond the memories of anybody. The highlights of that period included a trip to Singapore for an appearance on "Asia Bagus", and, at 17 years old, the national champion for the Radio Republik Indonesia "Star of Radio and Television" competition, no small accomplishment for a nation of nearly 200 million people at that time. It was also during those times that she began singing jingles for TV and radio, soon becoming one of the best-known voices in Indonesia, although few knew the face behind the voice. For example, for many years Anissa's was the voice that sang the familiar, Na-bis-CO!, at the end of Nabisco commercials in Indonesia. At 19 years old she started singing in club bands full time. Between 1995 and 2002 she was a regular in numerous bands, mostly in Jakarta, but occasionally "in the provinces", sometimes working as much as six nights per week with three sets per night. She also found time in that period to spend over two years in the USA, where she was surprised to learn that the Western songs that are popular in Indonesia are not often the ones that are popular among Americans. Returning to Indonesia, her repertoire gradually migrated from Top-40, where most of the jobs were, to classic rock and R&B of the 60s and 70s, and from there to jazz and pop standards. Her repertoire now includes numerous songs dating back to 1920s. Her style when she was young was compared to the contemporary soul divas of the day, like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. As her voice matured, it added bass and fullness and comparisons with Sade began. In the end, like any accomplished singer, her voice is her own and one listen is worth more than a thousand comparisons With this album, Lilik returns to studio one at Musika, where 19 years previously he helped Iwan Fals, the folk hero of Indonesian popular music, record his album, Ethiopia. Lilik's wife, who was 8 months pregnant at the time with their first child, remembers sleeping on the floor of the studio during all-night sessions for that album. Today, Lilik is one of the most-respected and sought after guitarists working in Indonesia. With a career that stretches back to the 70s, he has done almost everything. Besides playing on other artist's recordings, he has played in countless club bands, toured Indonesia with a recording band of his own, and taken contracts outside the country in Singapore and for the royal family of Brunei, following them to their residences in London, Paris, and elsewhere. For the past several years Indonesians have known him as the guitarist on the musical variety program Tembang Kenangan, Sunday evenings on Indosiar TV. He is also in great demand to perform with touring singers, flying off to concerts around Indonesia several times per month (often per week), always being jetted back to Jakarta in time for the taping of Tembang Kenangan. His style is not flashy, but rather, masterful. Being a journeyman musician, he is versed in nearly all flavors of music, but his innate style is improvisational, never playing a song the same way twice, except perhaps out sheer accident for having played the standards so many times during his career. Not often inclined to play solo guitar, he is nonetheless a remarkable arranger and performer for that format, with perhaps the known commodity most similar to him being solo Chet Atkins. What's next for Anissa Caprina? A follow-up album to "Once Upon a Night in Jakarta" has already been recorded. Entitled "Seconds", it follows the one voice, one guitar format of jazz and pop standards recorded live in the studio. Track listings include: Cabaret, Cheek to Cheek, As Time Goes By, My Favorite Things, Take the A-Train, Summertime, I've Got You Under My Skin, When I'm 64, Meant for You/Part of Me, The Way You Look Tonight, Hello Dolly, and Romansa. We will soon secure digital distribution rights, via the Harry Fox Agency, to distribute several demo recordings, including the memorable version of "In My Life" that Anissa recorded with Illo Djeer. There are sketchy plans for at least three more CDs.