Dewa Budjana is reshaping the future of modern jazz guitar...
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The first U.S. release from Dewa Budjana can make a legitimate case that this may be the most influential guitarist since the emergence of Pat Metheny. Slick but not over produced, Dawai In Paradise is a release literally eleven years in the making. Twelve tracks that form a harmonious synergy of lyrical thought, a musical vision that has remained constant for over a decade while a member of one of the most popular Indonesian rock bands, Gigi. The charm of Dawai In Paradise would be the utter lack of pretentiousness despite a high octane fusion base that moves slightly left of center when compared to some of his western contemporaries.
Global fusion might be a knee jerk reaction to a release that certainly draws from Budjana's cultural DNA but the effortless fusion of a myriad of cultural and artistic influences allows Dawai In Paradise to create one of the more unique six string presentations since Al Di Meola's World Sinfonia. Budjana's harmonic trick bag includes progressive rock, Indian influences, and an Ornette Coleman eclectic riff on just where he is moving his minor key chord changes. With similar recordings there is an almost expected harmonic disconnect as the release turns to the more self indulgent and the bigger picture seems lost in the shuffle, not here.
Dewa Budjana takes a global view of western influences and flips the script to create an incredibly intimate and personal representation of just how comfortable he is as an artist and where he is heading. We should all be so lucky.
Tracks: Lalu Lintas; Gangga; Masa Kecil; Kromatik Lagi; Back Home; Malacca Bay; Kunang Kunang; Caka 1922; Rerad Rerod; On the Way Home; Dancing Tears; Devananda.
Personnel: Dewa Budjana: electric, acoustic & synth guitars; Shadu Rasjidi: bass (1, 2, 4, 6); Sandy Winarta: drums (1, 2, 4, 6); Saat Syah: suling bamboo flute (3, 5, 9, 10, 11); Indra Lesmana: keyboards (5, 10, 11); Irsa Destiwi: piano (2); Ade Irawan: piano (6); Krishna Balagita: keyboards (7); Bintang Indrianto: drums (7, 8); Rishanda Singghi: bass (3); Ronald Fristianto: drums (3); Arie Ayunir: drums (7); Dave Carpenter: bass (5, 9); Peter Erskine: drums (5, 9, 10, 11); Reggie Hamilton (bass) (10, 11); Howard Levy: harmonica (9); Deva & Dawai: vocals (3, 9); Vinod Gangani: vocals (2); Sophia Latjuba: vocals (2); Ubiet: vocals (6); Oni: violin (6); Helmi: violin (8); Surti: viola (8); Wavan: violoncello (8); Aminoto Kosin: string arrangement (8).