285

Jane Bunnett: Red Dragonfly

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
Jane Bunnett: Red Dragonfly 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 jazz recreations of folk tunes from around the world, many of which are songs that have been part of her psyche since childhood. They are performed by a Bunnett quintet plus Canada's splendid Penderecki String Quartet, which adds a lush and empathetic cushion to all of the material.

The works come from Brazil, Japan, Cuba, South America, Canada, South Africa, Native America, and American Appalachia. Bunnett borrows husband/trumpeter Larry Cramer and Cuban pianist/arranger David Virelles from her Spirits band and rounds out the core ensemble with drummer Mark McLean and bassist Kieran Overs.

There are no disappointments in either the approach Bunnett took or the sound that the band delivers on this project, released in the U.S. on Narada and in Canada on EMI-Blue Note. The clear favorites for these ears include the Don Thompson-arranged Japanese title track and "Black is the Color, which gets a splendid arrangement from Virelles, who stretches the tune with a beautiful, introspective solo. Also very nice are South African composer Enoch Sontonga's lively "Nkosi Sikelel'I Africa and the Japanese folk song "Moon Over Ruined Castle, but my absolute favorite is the disc's lone new work. Bunnett's own "Heaven's Gate has a warm, playful mood that showcases her talented, strong ensemble.


Track Listing: 1. Odira-E (7:24) 2. Red Dragonfly (aka Tombo) (5:46) 3. Heaven's Gate (5:59) 4. Black is the Color (4:47) 5. Witchi Tia To (5:42) 6. Maria La O (4:23) 7. She's Like a Swallow (7:04) 8. Rabo de Nube (4:32) 9. Divule Oni (4:31) 10. Nkosi Sikelel'i Africa (6:59) 11. Moon Over Ruined Castle (5:37) 12. Un Canadien Errant (4:27).

Personnel: Jane Bunnett, soprano sax; Larry Cramer, trumpet & flugelhorn; Mark McLean, drums; Kieran Overs, acoustic bass; David Virelles, piano; Penderecki String Quartet - Christine Vlajk, viola; Jerze Kaplanek, 1st violin; Jeremy Bell, 2nd violin; Simon Fryer, cello.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Narada Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by John Kelman
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Solo Plus" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Plus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!