Soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett takes on a selection of traditional songs from around the world for her latest interpretive jazz excursion.
Soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett takes on a selection of traditional songs from around the world for her latest interpretive jazz excursion. Working with Mark McLean (drums), David Virelles (piano), Kieran Overs (acoustic bass), husband Larry Cramer (trumpet, fluegelhorn) and the Penderecki String Quartet, Bunnett avails herself of several superb arrangements by Don Thompson. Given the material for "Red Dragonfly," one expects very lyrical jazz, and that's certainly not a problem for Bunnett, who's capable of ad-libbing quite inventively on a melodic line. "She's Like a Swallow," for instance, finds her working a surprisingly edgy solo from an initial arrangement that's nearly Gothic in its texture. Virelles' handling of the South African anthem "Nkosi Sikkelel'I Africa" takes his piano and Bunnett from very straight-ahead melody to much brighter, uptempo improvisations. With every challenge Bunnett sets for herself, her jazz artistry grows more commanding.—PVV