Exposé Online banner

Dewa Budjana & Tohpati — Janapati
(Moonjune no#, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-12-27

Janapati Cover art

Certainly Janapati is an ambitious project by these two outstanding Indonesian guitarists who should be well known to all readers of Exposé, since we've covered many of their previous individual releases in these pages over recent years. Their basic stock in trade here is for the better part instrumental jazz augmented by a heavy orchestration, specefically the Budapest Scoring Orchestra and the Czech Symphony Orchestra, with the bulk of the orchestral parts scored by Tohpati, with Budjana’s involvement on two of the pieces. Drummer Demas Narawangsa and bassist Adhitya Patama are also present for the proceedings. In general, on the orchestra dominated pieces, one typically just occasionally hears the two guitarists, who are more often smothered by all the instrumentation, though the result on those pieces is very tasty and well done, including the opening title track, cowritten by the two principals, which alternates between orchestra and band, somewhat reminiscent of the way the late Frank Zappa approached the subject. “D Romance” and “Bermain” are two other heavily orchestrated numbers, the latter seeming to owe some credit to traditional song, though I can’t put my finger on the source, with a break at the two minute mark for a beautiful classical guitar solo, that slowly brings the orchestra back in for the coda. But that’s not the whole story; about half of the numbers here, the orchestra is relaxed and incidental, such as the beautiful “Rainy Days,” or absent altogether, like the four-plus minute guitar duo “Ratu Kanya” wandering between classical and jazz idioms as it goes. One of the most interesting pieces with the orchestra has to be “Children Songs,” a five minute medley of Indonesian traditonal and cover songs of children’s pieces, a perfect blending of guitarists and orchestra. The outright rocker “Duology” erupts later in the set, a Tohpati-Budjana composition with no orchestra at all, just a tasty slab of two guitars, bass, and drums with plenty of guitar soloing over its five minutes. A shorter acoustic version with only the guitarists closes the album nicely. All taken, Janapati is a collection of very nice surprises, beginning to end.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Dewa Budjana, Tohpati

More info
http://dewabudjana-moonjunerecords.bandcamp.com/merch/dewa-budjana-tohpati-janapati-cd

Latest news

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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ded Ringer - Ded Ahead – Life in the past lane. Call it retro, but rock music like this just isn't made anymore. On their fifth full-length disc this Bay Area trio dishes it up with enough credibility and authenticity to...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues