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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque: Oddara

Read "Oddara" reviewed by James Nadal

There has been a constant stimulating fascination associated with Cuba that has attracted numerous jazz musicians to delve deeper into its musical traditions. Also, judging by the amount of recent recordings by Cuban artists, and those who feature them in collaborative efforts, the island sustains its status as a vital source of inspiration on the global jazz scene. Cuba captivated saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett many years ago, eventually leading her to form the all-female group Maqueque in 2013, culminating in a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett & Hilario Duran: Cuban Rhapsody

Read "Cuban Rhapsody" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Torontonian flautist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett joins forces with Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist Hilario Duran for a special duet recording, exploring the Cuban equivalent of The Great American Songbook on Cuban Rhapsody. Containing a full range of Cuban music, from Ignacio Cervantes to Jose Maria Vitier, the classically trained duo breathes new life into much of this classical-rooted music. At the same time, it would be a mistake to categorize this as a strictly classical album, for it does contain certain elements of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Embracing Voices

Read "Embracing Voices" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett's Embracing Voices honors the human voice with unbridled intensity and features brave rhythmic, melodic and harmonic explorations. The record features fourteen instruments that swathe the heavenly choiristics of Grupo Vocal Desandann, the legendary ten-person a capella ensemble that celebrates a Haitian legacy. The choral group employs dense harmonies, intricately woven into call-and-response segues and contrapuntal structures that makes Desandann one of the most distinctive 10-voice choirs in music. Stately basses grind con arco together with the trill ...

INTERVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Embracing Voices

Read "Jane Bunnett: Embracing Voices" reviewed by Tomas Pena

Jane Bunnett, the Toronto soprano saxophonist, flutist and bandleader and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer have built their careers at the crossroads between Cuban music and jazz. Twice nominated for Grammy Awards and a fixture at the nominations for Canada's Juno Awards, their bands are virtual showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the United States and Cuba.Bunnett has long held an ongoing love affair with the human voice. Embracing Voices (Blue Note, 2008)--one of her most ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jane Bunnett: Embracing Voices

Read "Jane Bunnett: Embracing Voices" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Jane Bunnett Embracing Voices EMI Canada/Blue Note 2008

Jane Bunnett is never afraid to push the envelope. She did so with her 1988 album, In Dew Time, the now out-of-print vinyl that was produced privately by the Toronto imprint, Dark Light, on which producer, husband and trumpet/flugelhorn player Larry Cramer scooped both keyboard player Don Pullen and saxophonist Dewey Redman. Then followed an extraordinary slew of records, from those featuring Pullen--New York ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Jane Bunnett: The Spirit's Dancing in the Flesh!

Read "Jane Bunnett: The Spirit's Dancing in the Flesh!" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

"The ant's a centaur in his dragon's world.Pull down thy vanity, it is not manMade courage, or made order, or made grace,          Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.Learn of the green world what can be thy placeIn scaled invention or true artistry,Pull down thy vanity,          Paquin, pull down!The green casque has outdone your elegance."

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Radio Guantanamo: Guantanamo Blues Project Vol. 1

Read "Radio Guantanamo: Guantanamo Blues Project Vol. 1" reviewed by George Kanzler

This album from soprano saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett and her trumpeter husband, Larry Cramer, is a rich musical gumbo not only exploring the ancient Afro-Haitian-influenced changüi music of southeastern Cuba, but also stirring it up with jazz and the music of New Orleans. Most tracks feature one of two Cuban traditional bands, Grupo Changüi de Guantánamo or Grupo Changüi de Santiago. They each include hand drums, shakers, rattles and the guitar-like tres. On traditional changüi songs, the jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Radio Guantánamo: Guantánamo Blues Project Vol. 1

Read "Radio Guantánamo: Guantánamo Blues Project Vol. 1" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Canadian saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett's latest installment in her long and amply requited love affair with Cuban music directs our attention to changüi, a precursor to son from the eastern part of the island that dates back to the late eighteenth century. Two changüi ensembles, from Santiago and Guantánamo (the latter featuring the incredible singing of José A. Moreaux Jardines on “Vamos Para Guaso Compay ), are featured on several tracks. The complex history of the music makes for interesting liner ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Red Dragonfly

Read "Red Dragonfly" reviewed by Ken Franckling

Toronto-based soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett has built a solid career that for more than a decade has been focused on exploring traditional jazz and folk music from Cuba, touring with her Spirits of Havana band and also working to bring or send instruments to needy young Cuban players. Red Dragonfly is both an extension of and a departure from her Cuban projects, and it's also her most ambitious and intriguing work to date. Primarily it consists of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Red Dragonfly

Read "Red Dragonfly" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

For a long time now Jane Bunnett has been a champion of Cuban musicians and their music. What's more, she has several albums that showcase both. This time around, Bunnett expands her parameters to play folk music from several countries. Besides a core jazz band, she also includes a string quartet. Together they take the music beyond jazz to add lush orchestral textures, and at times a tad too much sweetening. This happens on “Heaven's Gate," where the quartet is ...

FILM REVIEWS

Cuban Odyssey: Spirits Of Havana

Read "Cuban Odyssey: Spirits Of Havana" reviewed by Jim Santella

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Bunnett: Cuban Odyssey

Read "Cuban Odyssey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Jane Bunnett visited Cuba for the first time in 1982, but in many ways – musically, at least – she has never really left.

This Odyssey presents music from Havana and three other locales recorded during her trip to Cuba with trumpeter, producer and husband Larry Cramer, featuring Bunnett on flute and soprano sax (she is also a classically trained pianist and clarinetist). Its mix of folklore, dance and party music, traditional and modern Afro-Cuban, and modern ...