Joged Kahyangan (MoonJune Records, 2013)
Indonesian guitar maestro Dewa Budjana traveled to California to record his latest solo album, Joged Kahyangan. Although he is known for cutting edge fusion and admirable guitar work, on this occasion he ventures into a more predictable form of jazz.
The American West Coast jazz scene is known for its smooth jazz tendencies and Joged Kahyangan has a pleasant feel that has a wider appeal than Dewa’s more exploratory albums. The band on Joged Kahyangan includes Larry Goldings on Hammond organ, acoustic piano; Bob Mintzer on soprano & tenor sax, bass clarinet; Jimmy Johnson on bass guitar; Peter Erskine on drums and special guest Janis Siegel on vocals; all great musicians who navigate the safer zones of contemporary jazz. Thankfully, Dewa leads the show and treats the listener to a fabulous set of performances.
“Kahyangan is the Indonesian word for ‘heaven.’ Naturally, it is believed to be a place of great beauty… and, for me, Indonesia is Kahyangan! This album, Joged Kahyangan (Dances of Heaven), is my musical interpretation of this beauty; it is a music that is shaped by my native cultural roots,” says Dewa in the liner notes. “My vision for this album was to collaborate with some renowned musicians in the US, whose work I have long admired, and capture their spontaneous interpretations of these songs, heavy with jazz flavorings and nuance — incorporating their cultural roots.”
Joged Kahyangan is an important step in the career of Dewa Budjana that will hopefully open the doors to further collaborations with some of the leading forces in the area of leading edge fusion.
Buy Joged Kahyangan