DEWA BUDJANA — Naurora (review)

DEWA BUDJANA — Naurora album cover Album · 2021 · World Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
After excursions into hard rock and classical music, “Naurora” finds Dewa Budjana returning to what he does best, performing jazz fusion flavored with the sounds of southern and eastern Asia, progressive rock and big cinematic arrangements. Many well known guests join Dewa on this one, including Joey Alexander, Gary Husband, Dave Weckl, Paul McCandless and many more. “Naurora” continues a trend we have been seeing more of lately, and that is a CD whose length is equal to the length of a vinyl LP. Eighty minutes of music can be fatiguing, whereas about forty minutes seems to be just about right.

The best tracks on “Naurora” come early on with the first three leading the way. Album opener, and title track, “Naurora”, displays what Budjana is best at. Here we have that big soundtrack style production within a multi-sectional arrangement that often uses Indonesian gamelon type figures. Within this arrangement we are given lengthy solos from Dewa, as well as Joey Alexander on piano. The following song, “Swarna Jingga”, continues with the lavish arrangements and introduces Mateus Asato on guitar. As good as Budjana is, he is almost out shone by Mateus, who performs an excellent exchange with Dewa. Possibly the best number on the album is the ballad, Kmalasana”. This is a beautiful melody played on a guitar that is capable of South Asian style note bends. As the song builds, repeating guitar lines sound like a grand mid-70s Genesis opus, I was almost expecting Phil Collins’ vocals to come soaring in for the last refrain.

The rest of the album is good, but its those first three that really shine. Dewa really deserves to be better known amongst those that appreciate supreme fusion guitar flights. If you like performers like John McLaughlin and Alan Holdsworth, then there is a good chance this album, as well as many of his other albums, will be what you are looking for.
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tupan wrote:
4 months ago
It's strange, but in Spotify the track "Naurora" is the fourth! Anyways, excellent album, and my favorite song was Kmalasana too!

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