Jane Bunnett & Hilario Duran: Cuban Rhapsody (2011)
The two forge the perfect musical marriage for this unique endeavor drawing on Duran's natural cultural background and Bunnett's career-long exploration of Afro-Cuban rhythms, a passion developed after a 1982 visit to Cuba. Bunnett gives equal time to flute and soprano saxophone here, while Duran matches her solos with a virtuosic flair that reveals his training and appreciable chops.
The album's centerpiece is the five-part "Contradanzas," with Manuel Saumell's writing comprising the majority of the parts. Also included is a tribute to Cuban bassist and mambo inventor, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, on the duo's take of "Almendra," as well as a creative rendition of "Quirino Con Su Tres" and a beautiful, dark-toned version of "Danza Lucumi," both from famed Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona.
The album offers a relaxed atmosphere, presenting beautiful classical Cuban music in a classical jazz mode. Cuban Rhapsody documents what Bunnett and Duran have been doing for yearsperforming music they are both passionate about, and feeding off each other's musical energy to carry the date without accompaniment. Well done.
Track Listing: Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears); Son de la Loma: Longina; Quirino Con Su Tres; Contradanzas; Maria la O; Almendra; New Danzon; Sherezada; Danza Lucumi.
Personnel: Jane Bunnett: flute, soprano saxophone; Hilario Duran: piano.
Record Label: Alma Records