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
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more