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Dewa Budjana - Zentuary CD (album) cover


Dewa Budjana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 88 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Despite all the globalisation, it may take a very long time for an extremely gifted musician to break into the knowledge of Western music consumers, if (s)he comes from a faraway country such as Indonesia. I hadn't ever heard of composer and guitarist Dewa Budjana when I received his latest album. He has made a musical career (between rock and jazz) for over three decades, and that's easy to believe when listening to Zentuary. Besides, one has to be somebody special to recruit well-known top musicians (drummer Jack De Johnette, our beloved bassist Tony Levin, keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband, etc). On top of that, Zentuary is a double album of 101 minutes in total. But there certainly are no compromises when the quality is concerned.

The naturally flowing music functions both as an object of dedicated listening and as a background music for e.g. reading. On the twelve tracks there's plenty of dynamics, nuances and, most of all, seamless team work in which the doubtless virtuosity never gets the bad taste of self-indulgence. As a guitarist Budjana has been compared to Bill Frisell and John McLaughlin, but in the end that's not an essential information, because the music gives pretty equally room for the other musicians. Numerous guest appearances add for example saxophones and instrumental or vocal contributions that increase the Far East exotism.

Both of the preceding reviews here have given full five stars. I'm extremely close to follow them ( -- what? there are even one star ratings, what the f*** were they thinking?), but here's my tiny word of criticism. Even though there are differences between the tracks, concerning both compostions and arrangements, in my personal listening experience I started to miss some more variety. A few side-steps into more ripped-down, individually oriented playing would have made the massive whole perfect.

I bet it takes several listening times to pick one's favourites. Most tracks are fairly long and it's not easy to remember where exactly was that brilliant bass solo or whatever highlight moment. On 'Crack in the Sky' at the end of Disc One, Risa Saraswati sings her Sundanese translation of Tony Levin's lyrics, and the compact, brief title track finishes the whole album in a spirited manner with the presence of Czech Symphony Orchestra. A strong recommendation for Jazz/Fusion listeners.

Matti | 4/5 |


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