| Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran - Discography
2012 Juno Nomination!
Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year
The tunes here range in age from the mid 19th century through to the 1940s, '50s and '60s. These richly romantic compositions are treated with love and respect by these two virtuosos, but they are not afraid to occasionally add a fresh coat of paint to the original arrangements. They are jazz players, after all, so improvisation is part of their musical DNA. "Some of our versions are very close to the original rendition, but we are taking some liberties on others," explains Jane. "We'll perhaps inject a solo section where there wasn't any before." The one original tune here is Hilario's "New Danzon," described by Bunnett as "a dance song done in the style of traditional danzon but with a very modern harmony. It is very adventurous and rhythmically demanding."
The material here moves seamlessly from the subtle elegance of "Danza Lucumi' to the jaunty "Quirino Con Su Tres" and "Sherezada," melodies as warm and breezy as a stroll on Havana's waterfront. A centrepiece of the album is the "Contradanzas," a medley of five tunes written in the contradanza form. Three were penned by Manuel Saumell, the 19th century composer described as the father of the contradanza, habanera, danzon, guajira, and clave forms and a true pioneer in integrating European classical music with Cuban folkloric styles.
Tunes by such noted 20th century Cuban composers as Frank Emilio Flynn, Ernesto Lecuona, Miguel Matamoros, Alberto Valdes, Manuel Corona, and Emilio Grenet are also reprised here. Hilario notes that "when they composed this music, there was a lot of movement between Havana and New Orleans, Haiti, Mexico, and Spain. European classical music was blended with African, Cuban and early jazz styles."
The classical music rooted pieces on Cuban Rhapsody can perhaps be viewed as the Cuban equivalent of the Great American Songbook. They have proved to be both timeless and still relevant, as this album clearly confirms. It is full of passion, melody, and rhythm, and that's the essence of Cuban music.
1. Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears)
2. Son de la Loma
4. Quirino Con Su Tres
i) La Tedezco (dedicated to Fortunata Tedesco)
ii) El Pañuelo de Pepa (Pepa's Handkerchief)
iii) Los Ojos de Pepa (Pepa's Eyes)
iv) Los Tres Golpes (The Three Beats)
v) Tarde en la Habana (Afternoon in Havana)
6. Maria la O
7. Almendra (Almonds)
8. New Danzón
10. Danza Lucumi