Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dewa Budjana, Hasta Karma

Indonesian guitar phenom Dewa Budjana launches off to a wonderful place on his latest album, Hasta Karma (MoonJune 070). It may well be his finest yet. The compositions ring out memorably, all penned by Dewa. And the band is an excellent one: Dewa of course on electric guitar, vet ace Joe Locke on vibes, Ben Williams on upright bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums, and special guest Indra Lesmana on keys for most of the album.

This is heady fusion with excellent arrangements, solo space for Locke that gives the trajectory dynamic spacing, a kicking performance from rhythm teammates Williams and Sanchez, and...

Dewa pulls out all the stops for a spectacular guitar performance. He handles lead melody with a beautiful sound, then launches into improvisations that show his maturity as a real-deal stylist at the top of his game. He has chops galore but uses them to shape solos that have some relationship to his Indonesian roots but also the completely internalized fusion guitar tradition as it stands today, refashioned and transformed into his very own thing. His sound projects wonderfully and the choice of notes are simultaneously sophisticated, lyrical and wailing, mostly all at the same time.

Well boys and girls, I do suggest you get this one for seminal modern fusion. Dewa is becoming a master.

Circumstances beyond my control may force me to stop my blogs dead in their tracks, and that in a very short time, though they will remain up here on blogspot regardless. I hope not but in case that is so I wish you all the very best. May you fare well. May the music of humanity inspire you to a higher realm. I will see you tomorrow I suspect. After that I will try to come back as quickly as I can. May the great spirit walk with you on your path through the rest of your life. I thank you for traveling part of that with me.

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