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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dewa Budjana - Surya Namaskar

Dewa Budjana shows no sign of stopping and he serves up a lot of power and interest in his music in the realms of Jazz Fusion, World Music, and Progressive Rock by taking those three different types of music and he always has some magic up his sleeves.  There are moments that are sounds of atmospheric/ambient sounds, homages to Allan Holdsworth, Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin, middle-eastern beauty and while the name of the album is a translation to “Sun Salutation” or “A Salute to the Sun” in which it is a yoga exercise that helps the human mind and body to relive the stress. And what Dewa has unleashed this year is a breathtaking and beautiful experience that he has brought to the Moonjune label.

And when you have bassist Jimmy Johnson (Chad Wackerman, Derek Sherinian, Roger Waters, Stan Getz) and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, Megadeth, Herbie Hancock) along with guests musicians; Gary Husband, Michael Landau, Mang Ayi, Kang Pupung, and Kang Iya to lend help and support, you know something special is happening. Opener, Fifty is an ominous introduction featuring Gary’s synths going into the dark and cavernous caves, tight landscapes between Dewa, Jimmy, and Vinnie going into town with the touches of the Mahavishnu Orchestra as Budjana just goes into town creating these hypnotic solo work that is intense and raw while Husband creates these mysterious keyboard workout to get to the other direction.

Duaji & Guruji at first starts off with a McLaughlin-like style introduction for the first three minutes with a symphonic synth motivated beat before Dewa takes over and just goes into town with whirling and elevated sound while Johnson creates these moody bass lines in the style of Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke before heading back into the finale. The laid-back grooves on Capistrano Road, in which it is a tribute to Allan Holdsworth, is a comforting and soothing composition while Kalingga has this South-East Asian beauty introduction between the Tarawangsa (Sundanese violin) and the Kacapi (Sundanese harp) and the vocalization from Ayi in which it has a mourning introduction before the psychedelic sound comes kicking in with a late ‘60s vibe that features the sitar and not to mention soaring altitudes to go into different areas.

The guitar and synthesizer are like different areas from another universe by lending a helping hand on the melodies of Lamboya and the folky touches of the resonant turned comforting yet circling touches for the sunset on Campuhan Hill while the gentle transcendent mind of the title track, has Dewa give guest guitarist Michael Landau a chance to shine on his guitar solo through the minds of Gilmour and Ottmar Liebert.

The closing, Dalem Waturenggong, in which Budjana, Johnson, and Colaiuta finally go into town with this piece. The trio now take turns on each of the solos between guitar and bass as Colaiuta goes through various calming motions throughout his drum kit and Johnson helps creates some wonderful bass work-outs. It is a perfect ending and a wonderful way to close the album out. Dewa has scored again along with Moonjune Records.

The music of Jazz and Progressive Rock has finally combined into one and I can’t wait to see what he will do next. And after listening to Surya Namaskar for the fifth time, I could tell he is absolutely mind-blowing from his virtuosity. So, I highly recommend the mind and adventures of Dewa Budjana’s music and his new album is an improving voyage.

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