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Cuban Odyssey: Spirits Of Havana

Jim Santella By
Published:
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EMI Music Canada
2003

Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer have dedicated much of their lives to becoming acquainted with Cuba’s cultural roots as they apply to modern jazz. Their documentary has quite a history, since the couple has returned to Havana time and again as musical missionaries in search of hope.

Throughout Cuban Odyssey, interviews with leading Cuban musicians receive much of the emphasis, as Bunnett searches for the secrets that make this music as special as it is. Scenes from local neighborhoods, apartment buildings, the streets, public parks, schools, a vast concert hall, and the country’s future generation of children provide a thorough look at Cuba’s everyday lifestyle. Music follows Bunnett everywhere she goes. Again and again, she and her husband, trumpeter Cramer, pick up their horns to learn songs by ear, interpret original ideas, and to improvise at length with dozens of native jazz artists. The influence of Dizzy Gillespie has not been forgotten.

The film includes subtitles, so as to avoid interference with the music. The subtitles also serve to translate, seamlessly, those portions of the film in which Spanish is spoken. Recommended, Cuban Odyssey provides a personal, visual, and musical account of what Havana is doing with jazz.

Approximate Running Time: 116 minutes.

Scenes: Spirits Of Havana; Quitate El Chaqueton; Ron Con Ron; Drume Negrita; Yemaya; Ochun; Winnie Winnie; Ochun; Hymn; Crazy Lola; El Diablo Tun Tun; My Little Suede Shoes; Nan Fonn Bwaa; Alabans; Quitate El Chaqueton.

Directors: Bay Weyman, Luis O. Garcia.

Performers: Jane Bunnett- flute, soprano saxophone; Larry Cramer- trumpet, flugelhorn; Guillermo Rubalcaba- piano; Papi Oviedo- tres; Tata Guines- congas; Ernesto Gatell- vocals; others.

Special Features:
Art Gallery
Home Video Out-Takes
Brief bonus video: Alma de Santiago
Brief bonus video: Chamalongo


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