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Dewa Budjana - Surya Namaskar CD (album) cover


Dewa Budjana


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.90 | 78 ratings

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4 stars Review originally posted at

It is great when a man builds his own destiny, when his quality and creativity into something bring light to his world, I bet Dewa Budjana is one of those guys who has been working hard, generating an own sound so his music and style has been reaching countries he may have not thought it would reach. Honestly, I was not aware of him, didn't know of his existence until Leonardo from Moonjune kindly let me know about him, and when I saw that Vinnie Colaiuta and Gary Husband participate in this album, I said, man, surely I am missing something, because those monsters play just with other monsters. Now I can say Dewa Budjana is one of them.

The album's title is "Surya Namaskar", recorded in 2013 but released in 2014 via Moonjune Records; it features 8 songs that make a total time of 56 minutes of excellent jazz rock in the progressive vein. It opens with "Fifty", a son where Budjana's electric guitar shows true feelings, true emotions within that excellence and that (in moments) McLaughlin-like tendency. Of course the music is greatly complemented by bass and drums, however, the complexity and outstanding sound created by the guitar pays the ticket.

"Duaji & Guruji" is a wonderful track, the jazz fusion style is present here, purely instrumental music at its finest. I love the dialogue between the instruments, and though guitars and keyboards play practically the same notes, I love that convergence, I love how each one has something to say, besides, the work of drums and percussion, along with the bass, make this a delicious song. "Capistrano Road" is a softer song, not a ballad, but a much slower track. In moments it reminds me of some Focus tunes, I think you wont' let me lie. It was really soon to put this soft song, I expected to continue with the fusion and fast style of the previous tracks, however, it is not a bad movement at all, I simply would have placed it later, after 5 songs maybe.

"Lamboya" has a sound that reminds me of some old glorious acts such as Return to Forever or Weather Report, I assume Budjana listened to them when he was a child. Several figures are offered in this track, with its particular changes, and with the inherent (mandatory) predominant guitar, it is a nice jazzy trip. Later it comes "Kalingga", which happens to be the longest song, passing the 9-minute mark. This song is also one of the highlights of the album, because here he puts different sounds, with guest musicians that play mid-eastern strings, creating a wonderful Arabian-like sound. The jazzy side is lost at least in the first two minutes, then a brief moment with calmer tunes, but right away that mid-east sound returns now with the help of drums, guitar and bass, creating a heavier mood, which would not reach the metal realms, but it touches the boundaries. Additionally, here we can listen to a great voice as background. This is a magnificent track!

"Campuhan Hill" is a shorter track, here we can also appreciate Budjana's kills with the acoustic guitar, which are great of course, but here the success of this particular song is the walk hand with hand with Johnson and Colaiuta, all of them creating a nice communion and spreading a fresh wind of music. The title track comes next, "Surya Namaskar" with almost 8 minutes of nice and delicate jazz rock; the style is truly smooth, so you can close your eyes and enjoy the music, it is catchy, but well-composed, challenging, so it is a great track actually, with delicious bass lines, by the way.

And finally "Dalem Waturenggong" closes this excellent album. Though they never return to the jazz fusion style the offered in the first tracks, here they make a solid song. I love the changes, because there is a moment in which the guitar sounds louder and more aggressive, but seconds later it vanishes and seems a new structure is being built up; then bass notes can be heard over a drums background, and later the musicians interplay and have an instrumental dialogue once again, letting us know that they don't do their job only, because they really enjoy what they are doing.

It is a wonderful album for those who love jazz fusion and virtuoso guitar players, this Indonesian man has talent, and the will to share his music and reach unknown places, as I mentioned in the opener paragraph. I truly suggest his music, so please give this album a spin, you can get it via Moonjune Records.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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