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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dewa Budjana

Joged Kahyangan

Review by Gary Hill

I can see some people arguing about this landing under progressive rock. It could certainly fit under jazz, too. Both sounds are represented here. For my money fusion and prog are just a little over opposite sides of the jazz to rock spectrum. This is close enough to the center to fit either place. It’s also an awesome album. I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cloud of Foggy

This opens with a great smooth jazz vibe. As the arrangement gradually builds it gets more energy and some prog rock in the mix. The guitar sound in particular is both noteworthy and a contributor to that rock element. I like the piano driven movement a lot, too. The horn solos are quite nice, as well.

Joged Kahyangan
The piano and guitar section that opens this really makes me think of Yes. It grows out from there with more jazz elements in play. The song structure itself, though, really has a Yes-like feeling to it a lot of the time. There is a bass solo mid-song that is melodic and very special.
Dang Hyang Story
More of a pure jazz song, only some moments of harder rocking guitar bring this near the realm of rock music. It’s got some great melodic journeys and I love the piano work on this thing.
As You Leave My Nest
This track features vocals by Janis Siegal. Other than some non-lyrical singing on one of the later track, this is the only song to feature any singing. There is sort of a jazz meets folky prog vibe to this. It’s one of the mellower cuts here and I love the acoustic guitar that plays through it. The vocals are also definitely strong. The progressive rock elements are definitely at play on the closing section of this piece.
Majik Blue
The early sections of this are fairly mellow, but quite proggy. Sure, there is definitely still jazz in the mix, but it’s more along the lines of space rock. Then it powers out into some smoking hot fusion that really rocks from there. A fast paced jam at the end definitely merges prog and jazz.
Erskoman
This is quite an adventure. There are some great retro keyboard sounds on it at times and the whole thing works through a number of changes. It has both proggy and more jazz oriented moments. I love the percussion based movement mid-track and the jam that comes out of that. The intense guitar soloing is awesome, too.
Guru Mandala
This one lands more purely into the progressive rock end of things. There are some definite world music elements at play here, too. This is a killer track. The mellower movement later does have more pure jazz in the mix, though. There is some particularly awesome melodic guitar soloing on this. It has some of the most effective musical passages of the whole disc. There are some non-lyrical vocals later in the piece.
Borra's Ballad
Acoustic guitar solos throughout most of this, but it’s accompanied by some mellow music. This is a classy, intricate and gentle piece of music. We also get a cool retro organ solo in this number.
 
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