Thursday, October 24, 2019

Maqueque’s New Generation of Cuban Music

from the Web page for the recording being discussed

Maqueque is a result of a project that began five years ago. The objective was to record and mentor young brilliant Cuban female musicians. Maqueque is the ensemble that resulted; and it is led by veteran jazz icon Jane Bunnett, who had been championing Cuban jazz even before the United States first took notice of the Buena Vista Social Club.

At the beginning of this past September, the group released its third album. The album is named after one of the tracks with the bilingual title “On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme.” Bunnett plays both flute and soprano saxophone; and her lyricism on the saxophone makes for thoroughly engaging listening (considering how obstreperous that instrument can be). The Maqueque musicians are Melvis Santa (vocals & percussion), Mary Paz (congas and vocals), Dánae Olano (piano), Tailin Marrero (bass), Yissy García (drums), Joanna Majoko (vocals), and Nikki D Brown (Sacred Steel guitar and vocals). The overall instrumental sound is consistently engaging; and, if I have any quibble, it is that the vocal work is a bit more muddled than I would prefer. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy in this barometer of the current state of Cuban jazz.

No comments: