artists put a lot of themselves into their work. Batavia (Acoustic
Music Records, 2010), by the David Becker Tribune, is more deeply personal
for the leader. The 13-song album chronicles the experiences of his
mother’s family, Dutch nationals who endured captivity in Indonesia and
Holland during World War II.
For most of the recording, Becker is accompanied by brother Bruce Becker
on drums, and Bolle Diekmann on bass. An assortment of guests appears on
The title song’s haunting mood captivates from the opening phrases. Becker
plays electric and acoustic guitars. Russell Ferrante of the Yellowjackets
is on acoustic piano, and Aniela Perry sits in on cello. Bass and drums
are effective with their subtle, yet engaging, touches. Inspired by the
Dutch name given to the capital of Indonesia, “Batavia” was the first port
of entry for his grandparents when they visited the nation. Becker’s lead
is terrific, but the ensemble as a whole gives this an almost orchestral
Another haunter is “Your New World,” a piece Becker wrote with the thought
of his grandfather and his bride as they adjusted to their new
environment. Matias Rubino joins the ensemble, playing the bandonian. Bass
and drums are more engaging this time around.
“The Invasion” features the core trio of Becker, Becker and Diekmann.
Although upbeat in tempo, it represents the capture of Becker’s mother and
other relatives when the Japanese invaded Indonesia in 1942. The guitar is
at times dissonant but always on the move. Diekmann really lets loose on
the bass, adding an element of funk.
David Becker is a two-time Grammy-nominated recording artist. The David
Becker Tribune has performed in 18 countries and has shared the stage with
such luminaries as Miles Davis, Chick Corea and Michael Brecker.
The CD is accompanied by a 12-page booklet, which has photographs and
brief explanations of the songs’ meanings.
David Becker Tribune - Website