Jane Bunnett: Cuban Odyssey (2003)
In some ways the culmination of Bunnett and Cramer’s life-long involvement with Cuban and Afro- Cuban music, Cuban Odyssey consists of eleven quite diverse pieces. Ranging in mood from the solemn to the hymnal to the celebratory, the album presents a large variety of collaborating musicians, including drum corps, choirs, and individual instrumentalists. Most intriguing, Bunnett gathered these musicians from throughout Cuba, venturing into areas relatively isolated from the global media market, and thus possessing quite distinct regional variance. (As a Canadian, Bunnett does not suffer the restriction of movement American researches and musicians confront.)
Working with such a heterogeneous mix of musicians within a variety of settings, Ms. Bunnett shows herself a compelling and flexible instrumentalist on both soprano sax and flute, as does Cramer on trumpet. Unlike some Latin jazz players, Bunnett never allows her soloing to move on top, or over, the rhythmic backing, instead integrating completely with the other musicians, changing inflection and tone to suit the mood. Whether building striking lines, or interjecting subtle phrases, Bunnett explores the possibilities of each setting without imposing a singular vision. The result is a rare and exquisite exploration brimming with inventiveness, energy, and a friendly, collaborative mood.
Track Listing: 1. Arrival 2. Quitate El Chaqueton 3. A La Rumba 4. Suite Matanzas 5. Pensando En Jane 6. El Diablo 7. Nan Fonn Bwaa 8. Alabans 9. Prizon 10 Ron Con Ron 11. Movin' On
Personnel: Jane Bunnett: soprano saxophone, flute; Larry Cramer: trumpet. Plus numerous guests.