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Dewa Budjana: Zentuary

Read "Zentuary" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Indonesian composer, guitarist and bandleader Dewa Budjana's tenth release (and his first on guitarist Steve Vai's label Favored Nations in association with Budjana's usual label, MoonJune) reviews, consolidates and advances his sound. Budjana's three decades of performing and recording, including collaborations with jazz A-listers as Peter Erskine, Joe Locke and Larry Goldings, are worth the retrospective. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dewa Budjana: Zentuary

Read "Zentuary" reviewed by John Kelman

In retrospect, all paths have truly led to this. Four increasingly impressive recordings for Moonjune Records have brought Dewa Budjana together with a variety of high profile, top-drawer jazz musicians from the American west and east coasts. Each successive album, from 2013's Dawai in Paradise through to 2015's Hasta Karma, have found the Indonesian guitarist raising ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vernon Reid & Masque: Other True Self

Read "Other True Self" reviewed by John Kelman

Vernon Reid has been always been a stylistic chameleon. Straddling many musical worlds, he's just as likely to record with Public Enemy as James Blood Ulmer, Jack Bruce or Lafayette Gilchrist. With a general approach best described as metal-edged reckless abandon, he proves on Other True Self that, as always, he's still capable of much more. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terry Bozzio + Metropole Orkest: Chamber Works

Read "Chamber Works" reviewed by John Kelman

Terry Bozzio is perhaps best known as a chops-laden drummer who's more at home in the pop/rock and fusion worlds. Chamber Works, which teams him with Netherlands' Metropole Orkest--like guitarist Mike Keneally's similar collaboration on last year's The Universe Will Provide--demonstrates that Bozzio is about much, much more. A member of the late Frank Zappa's band ...

Peppino D'Agostino & Stef Burns: Bayshore Road

Read "Bayshore Road" reviewed by John Kelman

Acoustic guitarist Peppino D'Agostino and electric guitarist Stef Burns couldn't have come from two more different musical worlds. D'Agostino, a self-taught player who left Italy for the United States in '93, has fashioned a career around an organic approach. Despite his admirable technique, he favours substance over style and lyricism over complexity. No less accomplished and ...

Pierre Bensusan: Altiplanos

Read "Altiplanos" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Among several facets Pierre Bensusan brings into play on the guitar are the influences he has absorbed and the technical skills he brings to bear. The latter sees him use fingertapping and harmonics, a chunky fleshing of the chords, overdubbing, and a creativity that opens a wide pasture in which he lets his melodies roam without ...

Pierre Bensusan: Altiplanos

Read "Altiplanos" reviewed by John Kelman

Sometimes it's all in the fingers. Give a guitar to two players, ask them to play an identical phrase and there will be a difference. It's about physiology--the physical characteristics of the fingers and how they touch the strings. It's about phrasing--the emphasis of some notes over others and the subtle nuances between those notes. And ...

Pierre Bensusan: Altiplanos

Read "Altiplanos" reviewed by Jim Santella

Guitarist Pierre Bensusan creates a gentle mood on this, his tenth solo album. Applying fingerstyle technique to soft ballads and lyrical ramblings, he sets his original compositions on the table for casual contemplation. Each piece flows smoothly with emotion, as a treasured folk song would carry out its purpose on its listening audience.

Singing ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Keneally + Metropole Orkest: The Universe Will Provide

Read "The Universe Will Provide" reviewed by John Kelman

An incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist whose style knows no boundaries, Mike Keneally first gained notoriety as a member of Frank Zappa's last touring band from '87 onwards, contributing guitar, keyboards and vocals. Also a fine percussionist, Keneally has since gone on to record a number of solo albums that demonstrated a similar penchant for the absurd, even ...

Larry Coryell: Tricycles

Read "Tricycles" reviewed by John Kelman

Why guitarist Larry Coryell isn’t a bigger name is a mystery. Emerging in the ‘60s around the same time as John McLaughlin, Coryell’s forays into fusion actually predate McLaughlin’s, first fusing jazz with rock and country sensibilities in Gary Burton’s quartet, most notably on ‘67’s Duster and Lofty Fake Anagram. McLaughlin and Coryell even duked it ...