Many of you might remember that we recently reviewed the fourth release from Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana, Joged Kahyangan, and surprise surprise he's back very quickly with the follow-up, titled Surya Namaskar. MoonJune Records certainly must know what a talent they have on their hands, so getting new product out there in a relatively short span of time is really a no brainer. While the previous album was more of a smooth jazz-pop affair with some fusion thrown in, this latest is a guitar lovers dream, featuring 8 tracks of smoldering jazz-rock that not only highlights the guitar skills of Budjana, but also the veteran bassist Jimmy Johnson (Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin) and legendary drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck, Sting, Chick Corea).
From the rip-snortin' fusion of "Fifty", with some sizzling guitar solos and guest keyboards from the always impressive Gary Husband, the acrobatic "Duaji & Guruji", and the more melodic "Capistrano Road", Budjana's skillful, Holdsworth inspired licks and solos are just a pleasure to listen to. Check out his rumbling solo just build and build to an exciting climax on the engaging "Lamboya", and the ethnic sounds of "Kalingga" features some guest Sundanese violin & harp to go alongside heavy rock guitar riffs. "Campuhan Hill" almost brings to mind Weather Report, except with some tender acoustic guitar, and ace guitarist Michael Landau guests on the melodic "Surya Namaskar". Johnson's nimble bass lines permeate the prog-fusion of closer "Dalem Waturenggong", a song that also sees Budjana going for broke with some lethal solos and Colaiuta laying down plenty of tricky drum fills.
This is marvelous stuff, a must have for fans who love guitar oriented jazz-fusion music. Dewa Budjana is a name you are certainly going to keep hearing more from, and with this trio he's created a masterful collection of songs that reeks of not only superior musicianship but also great songwriting.
1) Fifty (guest keyboards from Gary Husband)
2) Duaji & Guruji
3) Capistrano Road
6) Campuhan Hill
7) Surya Namaskar (guest guitar solos from Michael Landau)
8) Dalem Waturenggong