DEWA BUDJANA — Joged Kahyangan

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DEWA BUDJANA - Joged Kahyangan cover
3.77 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2013


1. Cloud Of Foggy 06:59
2. Joged Kahyangan 05:26
3. Dang Hyang Story 05:41
4. As You Leave My Nest (feat. Janis Siegel) 05:03
5. Majik Blue 05:34
6. Erskoman 07:46
7. Guru Mandala 06:17
8. Borra's Ballad 06:19


Bass Guitar – Jimmy Johnson
Drums – Peter Erskine
Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer – Dewa Budjana
Organ [Hammond], Piano – Larry Goldings
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet – Bob Mintzer
Vocals – Janis Siegel (tracks: 4)

About this release

Demajors ‎– DIMI 290 (Indonesia)

Recorded in Pasadena, Los Angeles, CA, July 2012

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Although Dewa Budjana has been putting out records in Indonesia since 1997, he did not receive much western exposure until 2011 when he released “Dawai in Paradise” on the MoonJune label. “Paradise” was a particularly ambitious recording for Budjana that created colorful cinematic soundscapes with a pan-Asian fusion backdrop. In 2013 Dewa has brought us his follow up recording, “Joged Kanyangan” , somewhat similar to its predecessor, but different too. Its probably no accident that Budjana has recorded his new CD with an all-star cast of western musicians (Larry Goldings, Bob Mintzer etc) because the Indonesian, Indian and other Asian influences that have always been Budjana’s trademark sound are still present, but they are much more subdued now. In fact, much of “Kahyangan” could easily play on contemporary jazz radio in the states and other western markets as well. Whether this is bad or good is a matter of personal taste, but you can’t blame Dewa for wanting to try different things and work with a new set of influences. No doubt, Goldings, Mintzer, Pete Erskine and the others on here are tops in their field.

The music on “Kahyangan” is more laid back and relaxed than the music on “Paradise”, the structures are less ambitious and there are fewer outbursts of energetic electric fusion. Although “Kahyangan” is not what you would call a pop-jazz album, some songs lean towards a “smooth” sound as Budjana is a master of the expressive nylon string playing that goes with that genre. Fans of Budjana’s aggressive electric shredding will find some good moments on “Dang Hyang Story” and “Majik Blue”. Larry Goldings gets to stretch out on the B3 on the jazzy “Erskoman” and Bob Mintzer contributes fine solos throughout. Budjana is a master of melodic development and his finest melody on here is the bitter sweet vocal number, “As You Leave My Nest”, about a woman who’s son is about to leave home and move on. Even better than the original is a instrumental reprise of the same melody on the album closer, “Borra’s Ballad”. Dewa’s expressive nylon string guitar playing on this one is an album highlight.

“Joged Kahyangan” is a good album and should make Dewa Budjana’s fans happy, but for the curious looking for a first buy, the preceding “Dawai in Paradise” is the stronger album.

Members reviews

Really nice and smoothy album by Indonesian guitar player Dewa Budjana! I got used to have Moonjune Records albums in a Jazz Fusion line and this kind of music really don't hold any water for me as I prefer something that was built and something with melody.

For my surprise Joged Kahyangan (2013) is one of this records! Dewa instead of trying to go on full Free Jazz do what you want wrote some really pretty melodies in a more traditional Jazz style, there's even a Vocal Jazz track on the album (As You Leave My Nest) with singer Janis Siegel.

This is the kind of album that is indeed a joy to listen to and you can enjoy it even while reading, but that doesn't make it a 'background music' album as Dewa is a great guitar player and the line up on the album is amazing.

Recommended! Please Moonjune, more of this kind of releases!
kev rowland
This is Dewa’s sixth solo album to date, and while he may well be a bona fide pop star in his home country with his band Gigi selling millions of records, he is still relatively unknown outside of his native Indonesia. With this, his second album for the international label Moonjune, surely that will soon change. The album title translates to “Dances of Heaven”, and if you are at all interested in jazz fusion that is the place to which you will be transported when listening to this. On this album he has been joined by Larry Goldings (organ, piano), Bob Mintzer (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Jimmy Johnson (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums) as well as singer Janis Siegel guesting on the one number with vocals.

The musicians didn’t see Budjana’s charts until the day of the recording, and the first take was the only rehearsal they had with the second or third take ending up on the album. Recorded in just a single day, this is pretty much a full live recording, which makes it even more incredible. Dewa has strong understanding of the use of space and harmony, as well as dischord, and combines all the elements to make an album that takes the listener by the hand as opposed to bashing them over the head. There are whole passages where Dewa is notable by his absence, letting the rest of the guys take his music on a journey and he joins in with wonderfully fluid Metheny/McLaughlin style at just the right moment. It is a wonderfully restful album, one where time and space disappears and is replaced instead by a world filled with harmony, delicacy, and restrained power. Every piece is a classic in it’s own right, while the restraint of everyone involved in the vocal “As You Leave My Nest” is superb.

The digipak opens up to provide three pages of notes, written by John Kelman, which definitely add to the overall experience. This is an essential album to anyone who enjoys wonderful music, whatever the genre.

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  • lunarston
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