Album Reviews

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DEWA BUDJANA

Joged Kahyangan

2013-12-09

  In his native country, Dewa Budjana is a household name as lead guitarist for million-selling Indonesian pop/rock group Gigi. However, when doing solo projects (Joged Kahyangan is the guitarist's sixth solo release.), he leans heavily in the jazz direction. On this album, the guitarist surrounds himself with influential American jazz musicians, most notable is drummer Peter Erskine, who was a major facilitator in bringing Budjana to the United States for his musical projects. In fact the sixth track, "Erskoman", Peter Erskine's nickname, was written specifically for the drummer.  The song is an album highlight.  It features Larry Goldings on organ with drum backing by Erskine, while Budjana respectfully steps back and gives them room to shine.  Another track to note is "As You Leave My Nest".  Not only is it the only song with vocals; it is sung by Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer).  Other highlights are tracks #3 ("Dang Hyang Story"), and #7("Guru Mandala").  These two eastern-tinged tracks seem to be influenced by the traditional music of Dewa Budjana's native country.    Rebecca Ruth  

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