All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

11

Dewa Budjana: Zentuary

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
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. Even better, Budjana celebrates this milestone release with most likely his best band ever—drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist/stickman Tony Levin and drummer and keyboardist Gary Husband—so his future seems just as bright.

It's tempting to write that, by surrounding himself with such exceptional players—and guests including saxophonist Tim Garland (Bill Bruford, Chick Corea), the Czech Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and Indonesian vocalists Risa Saraswati and Ubiet and flutist/vocalist Saat Syah—Budjana has created his most jazz-y release. But that does no justice to the astounding depth and breadth and vision of this music. There's something genuinely, organically global about Zentuary, a true distillation of jazz and native music, a new "third stream" for the new millennium.

As you listen to "Suniakala," which features the CSO, you feel yourself drawn into something as alive and deep as mysterious as an ocean. Levin's "Rerengat Langit (Crack in the Sky)" features Indonesian flute and percussion around Saraswati's lush Sudanese vocal, her voice as the lead actress' soliloquy against the band's instrumental chorus, until Budjana's soaring guitar threatens to actually put a "crack in the sky." "Dedariku" also features Indonesian flute, to introduce an Indo-Chinese sound.

DeJohnette rolls and tumbles through disc two like a rock drummer in his jazzman's chair. He and Levin grab "Pancaroba" by the throat and plunge it into metallic rock power chords. You could build an entire skyscraper atop his rhythmic foundation to "Manhattan Temple," thundering and explosive lines which conjure the primal force that was drummer Elvin Jones. Jones' ghost also haunts "Uncle Jack," DeJohnette's tour-de-force on acoustic piano, electronics and drums. DeJohnette the drummer knows just where/how to boot DeJohnette the pianist in the booty with the beat, and "Uncle Jack" sounds just as much like pianist Cecil Taylor as drummer DeJohnette.

"I conceived the term 'Zentuary' by combining the words Zen and Sanctuary. For me, it summarizes my lifelong journey —through my life and along my musical path," Budjana writes in this set's notes. "Uncle Jack, Mr. Tony and Brother Gary, thank you for accompanying me on this fabulous musical adventure!" Zentuary is an enduring postcard of snapshots from their fantastic voyage.

Track Listing: CD1: Dancing Tears; Solas PM; Lake Takengon; Sunikala; Dear Yulman; Rerengat Langit (Crack in the Sky). CD2: Pancaroba; Manhattan Temple; Dedariku; Ujung Galuh; Uncle Jack; Zentuary.

Personnel: Dewa Budjana: all guitars, soundscapes; Tony Levin: electric upright NS Design bass (CD1#1-5, CD2#1-5), Chapman Stick (CD1#6); Gary Husband: drums (CD1#1-2, CD1#4, CD1#6, CD2#1, CD2#4-5); keyboards and acoustic piano (CD1, CD2#1-4); Jack DeJohnette: drums (CD1#3, CD1#5, CD2#2-3), acoustic piano (CD2#5); Danny Markovitch: curved soprano saxophone (CD1#2, CD2#4); Tim Garland: tenor saxophone (CD2#2); Guthrie Govan: guitar solo (CD1#4); Saat Syah: custom-made Indonesian suling flute (CD1#6, CD2#3); Ubiet: vocals (CD1#3); Risa Saraswati: vocals (CD1#6); Czech Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michaela Růžičková: orchestra (CD1#4, CD2#6).

Title: Zentuary | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Favored Nations

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Duaji & Guruji

Duaji & Guruji

Dewa Budjana
Surya Namaskar (with Jimmy...

As You Leave My Nest

As You Leave My Nest

Dewa Budjana
Joged Kahyangan

Lalu Lintas

Lalu Lintas

Dewa Budjana
Dawai In Paradise

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hasta Karma

Hasta Karma

MoonJune Records
2016

buy
Zentuary

Zentuary

Favored Nations
2016

buy
Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar

MoonJune Records
2014

buy
Joged Kahyangan

Joged Kahyangan

MoonJune Records
2014

buy
Dewa Budjana: Joged Kahyangan

Dewa Budjana: Joged...

MoonJune Records
2014

buy
Dawai In Paradise

Dawai In Paradise

MoonJune Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Ruby" CD/LP/Track Review Ruby
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 10, 2018
Read "Barefoot Dances and Other Visions" CD/LP/Track Review Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 12, 2018
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets)" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets)
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 3, 2018
Read "Of Abstract Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Of Abstract Dreams
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "Weather Walker" CD/LP/Track Review Weather Walker
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 11, 2018