Exposé Online banner

Dewa Budjana — Dawai in Paradise
(Moonjune MJR051, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Dawai in Paradise Cover artGiven 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Dewa Budjana

More info
http://moonjunerecords.bandcamp.com/album/dawai-in-paradise

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Deathwatch Beetle Repairman - Hollow Fishes – Debut albums from obtuse solo acts can be difficult to ascertain on the surface. The first few listens of this disc from the Toronto based artist sound very much like an alternative to some of the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues