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Jane Bunnett and Maqueque: Jane Bunnett and Maqueque

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Canadian soprano saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett continues to let her love affair with Afro-Latin music guide her. Here she fronts an all-female sextet and showcases some of the brightest young instrumental and vocal talent Cuba has to offer.

Often on the disc, Bunnett’s soprano sax or flute passages weave alongside the vocal harmonies of several ensemble members before spiraling across haunting Yoruban chants, batá polyrhythms and modern jazz arrangements. Daymé Arceno’s husky alto functions as the prominent voice. She dazzles on Bunnett’s “Maqueque,” crooning wordless phrases animated by coos and growls while Bunnett’s flute melody soars atop Danae Olano’s piano and the rhythm section’s percolating groove. A string quartet wraps the composition (and others) admirably, adding another layer of mystique.

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