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Dewa Budjana - Dawai In Paradise CD (album) cover


Dewa Budjana

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Indonesian guitarist and composer Dewa BUDJANA has been active in the Indonesian music scene since the early 80's, arguably best know for his long tenure in the Indonesian rock band Gigi. But besides his accomplishments in this more mainstream oriented band he's been an active solo artist since the mid 90's. "Dawai in Paradis" is the fifth of his six solo albums, originally released back in 2011 and reissued by the US label Moonjune Records in 2013.

Dewa Budjana's fifth solo album "Dawai in Paradise" resides somewhere in the borderlands between world music, accessible jazz-fusion and mainstream-oriented jazz rock. Strong and distinct melodies, smooth arrangements with soft edges with high quality performance by the instrumentalists involved are defining traits. A high quality production where a possible key audience would be those who enjoy world music alongside accessible varieties of jazz, jazz rock and fusion.

Report this review (#1082981)
Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An Indonesian guitarist from Bali, born in 1963.His style was much influenced by jazz guitarists like John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny or John Abercrombie and in 1980 he started his first band Squirell with his schoolmates in Surabaya.Squirell lasted until 1985, when Budjana went to Jakarta to start a career as a session player and became a member of Spirit and Java Jazz.In 1994 Budjana opened a new and long chapter with Gigi, while from late-90's and on he recorded several solo albums.After no less than four personal records he came to the attention of Moonjune Records, which decided to release his fifth work ''Dawai in paradise'', originally launched in 2011 on the Indonesian Demajors label.Budjana plays acoustic, electric and synth guitars and he was helped by a list of 20 mostly native guests, among them were though Dave Carpenter (bass, R.I.P), Howard Levy (harmonica) and Peter Erskine (drums).

This is a beautiful and flexible guitar-led Jazz Fusion album with strong references to Indonesian Music, I wouldn't call it an Ethno-Fusion album by any means, because the ethnic elements are basically supportive, but their display adds a nice personal touch to Budjana's jazzy style of playing.His early influences surface here with some strong chops and solos, while he occasionally dives into melodic themes to deliver a unique listening experience with sensitive touches sitting next to more technical plays.Budjana may be the central hero of the album, but this does not mean you have to always face his accomplishment as a guitarist.Maybe as a composer would be a better expression, because with a good dose of violin, strings and flutes and the omnipresent use of piano and keyboards Budjana came up with inventive Fusion arrangements, ranging from folky parts and acoustic tunes to Electric Jazz and Prog Fusion.Some parts are much inspired by 70's Jazz Fusion and the works of PAT METHENY or BRAND X, other pieces sound closer to Ethno-Fusion with the exhibition of Indonesian Music popping up here and there, offered via some lovely tunes.The album is definitely a grower, but once you get into it, it could become an eveyday listening even for non-casual Prog fans, the deep sense of melody along with the dreamy soundscapes allow Budjana's music to become pretty friendly and enjoyable.

Thanks to the guys of Moonjune be sure to taste a different side of melodic Fusion via Budjana's ''Dawai in paradise''.Indonesian Music meets 70's and modern Jazz Fusion in a respectable way full of interesting ideas.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1275371)
Posted Saturday, September 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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