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Eminent guitarist Dewa Budjana's fifth solo album offers a medley of compelling stylistic components steeped in Indo-fusion, jazz fusion, progressive rock and indigenous components of his Indonesian roots. The album also includes older material, spanning 2002 through 2005, featuring US jazz heroes including drummer Peter Erskine, the late bassist Dave Carpenter, and many others who generate a world-beat focus. Budjana's technical gifts cannot be undermined, yet his primary motivation is based on song-form amid broadly entertaining values. The guitarist toggles between a blistering command and controlled attack, as well as up-tempo swing vamps juxtaposed with Indo-folk. The preponderance of these disparate works are designed with memorable riffs and alluring melodic content.
"Kromatik Lagi" is a glimmering jazz fusion trio affair, blended with a harmonious core theme. With bustling interludes and bassist Shadu Sinngih's nimble solo surging to a zenith, Budjana ups the ante with tuneful licks, executed with an animated upsurge. He reformulates the principal motif with zinging, sustained notes and understated electronic effects, all impacted with weighty chord voicings. The trio also incorporates juiced-up, odd-metered unison runs into the central plot, leading to a whirlwind closeout. Budjana stands to be a vital global force as the world is his oyster, largely because he excels within numerous musical vernaculars, coupled with an impressive technical acumen.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.