Dewa Budjana — Dawai in Paradise
(Moonjune MJR051, 2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01Given my low tolerance for what is generally called "smooth jazz," this album at time proves frustrating. There are times when the silky pad of keyboard backing and fluid hummable melodies on guitar make be want to break things, just like a Kenny G tune would. But then along comes a guitar solo with a ring modulator, or some Indonesian children singing, or a sudden detour into a classically inclined acoustic section. Those things bring me back to thinking this is a wonderful recording. Budjana's guitar playing is never short of stellar, even at the times when I wish the backing had more guts. At times, when an acoustic guitar is strumming in the background, I'm reminded of Pat Metheny - that kind of folky jazz is a Metheny trademark. Sometimes I'd really love to hear Budjana cut loose and smoke us all. I know he's capable of it, but that doesn't seem to be his aim. I'm in favor of guitarists who don't flash their technique for its own sake, but the setting here is so low key that it often threatens to fade into the background. Too pretty, like a soundtrack for a European movie of the 70s, a love story in an exotic location perhaps (to justify the percussion). My favorite track is "Dancing Tears" which seems to have a little more meat on its bones. For listeners who don't mind the breezy side of Metheny, this album should be a welcome encounter, but some may find it too much on the tame side.
Related artist(s): Dewa Budjana
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more