. . . and I don't just mean the gorgeous Ms. Bunnett, reigning queen of jazz soprano saxophone and flute.
Red Dragonfly is certainly the most beautiful thing she's ever done. Careful attention has been paid to the smallest detail, from the stunning photos, to the ravishing packaging, to the inclusion of the Pendercki String Quartet. She's on a new label, the New Agey Narada. Hey, if Michael Brecker can sign with Heads Up, I've got no complaint with Jane Bunnett recording for this outfit, especially since they do such a wonderful job of presenting and packaging this delightful music.
Her flute's on the shelf here, and I must say, I've always wanted to hear her playing soprano sax exclusively, which, I believe, is her better instrument. Husband Larry Cramer's on board (as usual) with his distinct trumpet/flugelhorn sound. The great Kieran Overs once again brilliantly holds down the bass chair, but there's a couple of newcomers at piano (David Virelles) and drums...
I echo the comments of Mr. Dennis in the previous review. This is a recording of music of great beauty. I've been following Jane's career since the Spirits of Havana recording in 1992. All of her recordings are interesting (and different, one from the next) but this one is the easiest on the ear. It is music which is pretty and intelligent.
I saw the core of this group, Jane and a sextet (no string quartet) in tiny Cedarburg, Wisconsin on August 22. They played before a crowd largely unfamiliar with their repertoire and they won over the audience famously. Pianist David Virelles is a player to watch. Jane and trumpeter Larry Cramer are charming performers. If you can catch this group, go.
I also reccomend Jane Bunnett with the Cuban Piano Masters.
I heard a track from this CD on the radio and took a chance on it. I haven't been disappointed by any of the tracks, I find them all equally good, to the point that I believe the CD is best listened to in it's entirety as a work of its own, not merely a collection of good songs. All are excellent. The real test for me is that I frequently dig this out and play it which tells me it has enduring appeal, not just for listening to one or twice and relegating it to the dust pile of not-so-great CDs.
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