“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Dewa Budjana: Joged Kahyangan (2013) CD Review

by August 22, 2014
Joged Kahyangan CD Review

Joged Kahyangan CD Review

Label: MoonJune Records (MJR 059) | Buy Now

Track List

1)     Foggy Cloud

2)     Joged Kahyangan

3)     Dang Hyang Story

4)     As You Leave My Nest

5)     Majik Blue

6)     Erskoman

7)     Guru Mandala

8)     Borra's Ballad


A pop star in his home country of Indonesia, guitarist Dewa Budjana has assembled a strong slate of well-known American jazz artists to produce an eclectic jazz set recorded and mixed by Grammy winner Rich Breen. Featured on over 20 recordings with the Indonesian group Gigi, Budjana's own recordings are more jazz-centric. He composed and arranged all the music on this CD, featuring acoustic and (mostly) electric guitar with some guitar synth mixed in.

Audio Quality

The opening track Foggy Cloud is one of my favorites, along with Guru Mandala; both feature catchy melodies and excellent solos. In fact, it seems like every time I listen to Guru Mandala, I find myself humming the melody for the next several hours! I also like Erskoman a lot, which was written for world famous drummer Peter Erskine (formerly of Weather Report and Steps Ahead). If you listen closely to the beginning and end of Erskoman, you can hear them counting off the tune as well as an impulsive cheer at the end. I think this sort of thing is cool, as it's usually (easily) edited out during mixing. An early Budjana fan, Erskine was instrumental in pulling together his initial American recording projects. He also has a nice spontaneous drum solo on Dang Hyang Story, which features interesting poly-rhythmic groove. Recording engineer Rich Breen related to me that this was basically a “one-day studio date” with mostly take twos and threes along with a few take ones. In other words, a very “live” recording date; only a couple of Budjana's solos were overdubbed (later) from his home studio. This set wraps up with the soothing Borra's Ballad (where you can also hear someone counting the tune off).


There's a lot of good music on this CD supported by some top-notch American jazz musicians. This isn't just a “guitar showcase” as there are several good sax and organ solos. The only track I don't really like is the vocal tune As You Leave My Nest. Budjana is capable of a wide range of playing styles and this particular set should be very accessible to anyone who follows any of the fine side musicians featured on this release.


Audio Quality: 4/5
Features (liner notes): 5/5
Overall: 4/5

Reference Equipment

  • Yamaha DSP-A1 Natural Sound A/V Amplifier (Stereo Mode)
  • Pioneer Elite CLD-99 Reference LD Player
  • Polk Monitor 10B Speakers (x2)


About the author:
author portrait

Stanton was born and raised in Kansas City, where he was exposed to the rich culture of jazz at a very young age. He's a drummer and an electrical engineer and loves to review jazz music for us.

View full profile