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Dewa Budjana - Zentuary CD (album) cover


Dewa Budjana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 88 ratings

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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!

memowakeman | 5/5 |


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