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Dewa Budjana

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Dewa Budjana Zentuary album cover
3.99 | 88 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (50:51)
1. Dancing Tears (9:11)
2. Solas PM (9:18)
3. Lake Takengon (7:45)
4. Suniakala (8:40)
5. Dear Yulman (8:21)
6. Crack In The Sky (7:36)

CD 2 (49:42)
7. Pancaroba (8:12)
8. Manhattan Temple (10:00)
9. Dedariku (10:45)
10. Ujung Galuh (7:05)
11. Uncle Jack (10:50)
12. Zentuary (2:50)

Total Time 100:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Dewa Budjana / electric & acoustic guitars, soundscapes, arranger & producer

- Guthrie Govan / guitar solo (4)
- Danny Markovich / soprano sax (2,10)
- Tim Garland / tenor sax (4)
- Saat Syah / suling - Indonesian flute (6,9)
- Tony Levin / electric upright NS Design bass, Chapman stick (6)
- Gary Husband / drums (1,2,4,6,7,10,11), keyboards & piano (except 11 & 12)
- Jack DeJohnette / drums (3,5,8,9), piano (11)
- Nyak Ina Raseuki "Ubiet" / vocals (3)
- Risa Saraswati / vocals (6)
- Czech Symphony Orchestra (4,12)
- Michaela Ruzicková / conductor (4,12)

Releases information

Artwork: Aga Dilaga

2xCD Demajors - DIMI 545 (2016, Indonesia)
2xCD Favored Nations Entertainment ‎- FN 2880 (2016, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DEWA BUDJANA Zentuary ratings distribution

(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

DEWA BUDJANA Zentuary reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh my gosh, what an incredible album!

A couple of years ago thanks to Mr. Moonjune I was introduced to Dewa Budjana's magnificent guitar realm, expanding my musical knowledge and boundaries with a top-notch player who re-defines the concept of world-guitar, since he creates a wonderful blend of traditional music (Indonesian) with jazz fusion that believe me, deserves to be recognized worlwide as one of the best and most innovative musicians of the underground scene.

I've been listening to his music in a regular basis since I first listened to his albums which by the way are always complemented by amazing renowned musicians such as Antonio Sánchez, Ben Williams, or Vinnie Colaiuta to name a few, and this time, in a new and incredible album entitled Zentuary, he gathered monsters such as Tony Levin, Gary Husband and Jack Dejohnette, true legends that put their best to give us a sublime release, a two-cd album that has to be one of the best records of 2016.

Zentuary is an exquisite work of art, it is amazing how these musicians elaborate songs that seem to represent a joyful journey through what they love, the spirit of the music revelates the soul of the musicians themselves, so that joy is spread and our ears and souls receive it with positive vibes, so it is a virtuous circle in which we (the listeners) are luckily involved. Personally I prefer short (40-55- minute albums) that long ones, but man, this one is tremendous so one can enjoy every single track without saying a negative word, because what they create here is a trip in which any human being would like to be invited.

There are 12 songs, eleven of them are from 8 to 11 minutes and believe me, the minutes fly! And only the last song is a short 3-minute closer. The traditional reminiscences appear since the first track "Dancing Tears", a wonderful opener with pretty good voices, percussion and background; I think this particular track is a great example of Budjana's exceptional skills as composer. "Solas Pm" brings a delicious jazz passage in which saxophones get involved with a major role, bringing new nuances to an already interesting piece of music. The word "fusion" is wonderfully represented in "Lake Takengon", in which Jack Dejohnette makes a great contribution (as he always does), interplaying greatly with Husband on keyboards. I love Budjana's style, alwasy accurate and with a low profile, he doesn't have to be bombastic to get noticed, he is subtle but profound.

In the fourth track "Suniakala" the tempo is a bit calmer, so one can even feel relaxed here in some moments, in spite of Guthrie Govan's guest appearance with a wondeful guitar solo that gives a rockier mood, but at the same time, it keeps the calm spirit of the song. "Dear Yulman" keeps me calm and satisfied, the revolutions don't increase here, so we can take deep breaths and let the music embrace us. Levin's bass playing is fabulous, working as a wonderful couple of the drums while Budjana's guitar give us heartfelt solos. "Rerengat Langit (Crack tin he Sky)" is one of my favorite tunes here, bringing a kind of world-music spirit with folk elements such as a wonderful flute, complemened by a sensual female voice and the disarming guitar riffs. Levin's work here is also extraordinary (as usual) but Budjana takes the whole cake here, because he and his guitar create countless feelings, touching our deepest nerves. Beautiful!

One of the beauties of this album is its vast amount of sounds, rhythms and textures, I love how different can be from one song to another, however it is the same Dewa Budjana and co. giving us moments of pure quality. I am saying this because i love the contrast between "Rerengat" with "Pancaroba" the 7th track (1st track of the 2nd CD) which has an adventurous sound that gathers jazz fusion and rock. A provocative track that will make you want to move your head and body at its rhythm, one can easily fall in love with its charm. "Manhattan Temple" is another joyful piece of jazz fusion that has some passages full of cadence and some others with an even romantic style. "Dedariku" is a feast of sounds, atmospheres and styles since we can enjoy a soft and tender jazz complemented by some folkish arrangements and cool fusion moments provided by keyboards.. Of course, there are some killer guitar riffs by the maestro Budjana that you cannot miss.

"Ujung Galuh" is a fresh and happy track, impossible not to be infected (in the positive sense of the word) by its mood. A fusion track with great keyboards, reminiscent of some 70s monsters such as Return to Forever but with a true XXI century spirit and with the magnificent addition of a saxophone which is played by Danny Markovich who plays in Marbin. "Uncle Jack" is the last long song of the album. It is a great long jam in which piano takes a good role, in fact, I would say this is THE piano song, despite the relevance of guitar and the others instruments. The album finishes with the short "Zentuary", a nice short track that works as the "ending credits" theme, nice acoustic guitar-driven track that finishes an outstanding album. A masterpiece!

Highly recommendable!

Review by kev rowland
5 stars For his tenth solo album Dewa signed with Steve Vai's label, and brought together a stellar group of musicians to realise his vision. Although this album was only a year after 'Hasta Karma' he has again completely switched things around, and none of those who were involved in the last album are involved with this one. His core band this time was Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel Stick Men), Gary Husband (John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce and others) and the incomparable Jack DeJonette (Keith Jarrett, Miles Davis). If that wasn't enough he then added some further guests in Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats, Steve Wilson, GPS), Tim Garland (Chick Corea, Bill Bruford), Danny Markovich (Marbin) as well as some cameos from the Czech Symphony Orchestra as well as Indonesian musicians Saat Syah, Ubiet and Risa Saraswati. Given that amount of talent is it any surprise that they have combined to produce yet another stunning piece of work?

Dewa has a wonderfully fluid style that always reminds me of John McLaughlin, and although there are huge amounts of fusion within this album, it is also quite experimental, bringing in progressive sounds that wouldn't be out of place with keyboard pioneers like Vangelis as well as also bringing in local sounds and styles from Indonesia: it is fusion and progressive music in its truest sense. Some numbers, such as "Lake Tangengon" wear me out just by listening to them ? there is an amazing amount of work and styles being displayed in the melody lines, and then at the back of them all Jack is killing the kit. How he keeps it up throughout the whole song is beyond me. Just twelve songs on this double CD set, but the 100 minutes' pass by so quickly, and one must jerk oneself back into the real world at the end of it.

This is music that covers a great deal of musical areas, with multiple layers and threads, but it all combines into an incredible majestic whole. Yet again he has produced an album that is totally indispensable, essential, complex and challenging yet easy to listen to, and a sheer delight from the first note to the very last.

Review by Matti
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.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Indonesian composer and musician Dewa BUDJANA is a well known and regarded musician in his home land of Indonesia, and for the last decade or so he has been established as a prominent musician also in the west, helped and guided by his western label Moonjune Records. Following a handful of albums released and reissued on that label, he was signed to Steve Vai's label Favored Nations in 2016, for the release of "Zentuary", which is his most recent album to date.

Dewa Budjana and his various guests on this double album have made a mainly positive, uplifting and smooth production that exists somewhere on the borders between jazzrock and jazz fusion, in a smooth and polished contemporary manner. The material does feature some world music elements here and there, flavoring the soundscapes nicely, and there's room for controlled excursions into more expressive modes of delivery on regular occasions too, but without the material ever becoming too challenging for any longer period of time. The slight emphasis on jazz details gives me the impression that this is an album that will have a stronger appeal for jazz fans than for jazzrock fans, but both audience segments should track this one down and have a go at it on some occasion. I suspect that the greater majority of those who choose to do so will find the experience rewarding.

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