Dewa Budjana, Hasta Karma, 2015
Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana (Moonjune Records) has been featured here a couple of times before, his previous one is here. But there are 2 more on the blog. One thing I admire about him is the ability to write songs that connect instantly with the listener. Where a lot of his label mates need you to invest serious time in their release, Budjana has you tapping along in seconds. His themes and melodies are refined and attractive and he cleverly places them within the song structures.
His playing and that of his fellow musicians is without doubt of a high calibre, no matter the more accessible nature of at least part of the songs. And yes, there are pieces here and there where improvisation takes over. But that is the way it should be, we are talking about fusion after all. So Joe Locke on vibraphone, Antonio Sanchez on drums and Ben Williams on delicious upright bass not only provide a base for Dewa to excel on, they add a lot to the whole of the album as well.
The 6 songs (52 minutes) of Hasta Karma are a joy to listen to. And really, there is no need to tell you more. In the genre, I regard this as one of the best available and one able to cross bridges. I am sure that people that like adventurous music will have fun with this, as well as progressive addicts. Try it!