Our woman in Ha­vana Jane Bun­nett and Maque­que

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

her new group, Maque­que, so­prano sax­o­phon­ist Jane Bun­nett plays in a hard-swing­ing, near-free, post-bop mode, but that voice is wo­ven into the heady rhyth­mic fab­ric of her five Cuban co­lab­o­radores, who are all women. Ex­pe­ri­ence the spir­ited mix when they play three gigs for the 12th An­nual New Mex­ico Jazz Fes­ti­val: a free Mu­sic on the Hill event at St. John’s Col­lege on Wed­nes­day, July 19; and two con­certs Thurs­day, July 20, and Fri­day, July 21, at the Out­post Per­for­mance Space in Al­bu­querque.

Bun­nett, who is also an in­trepid flutist, stud­ied with renowned so­prano player Steve Lacy (1934-2004). He was the prime mo­ti­va­tion for her fo­cus on the so­prano. “He was an ad­ven­turer, and I see my­self in that way, even though I’m work­ing in a dif­fer­ent id­iom. He heard some of my Cuban mu­sic, and he said, ‘I could re­ally get into this!’ and he was danc­ing around with his horn.” She played him her per­cus­sion-rich ver­sion of the Kenny Clarke and Th­elo­nious Monk piece “Epistro­phy” from her 1993 Spir­its of Ha­vana al­bum, and he said, “Monk would have liked that.” She con­tin­ued, “Steve was open and re­spon­sive and hon­est. It’s all about be­ing fear­less and try­ing to step out­side of your com­fort zone. In my case, the Cuban thing seemed very ex­cit­ing, and no­body else was do­ing it. There were no for­eign­ers there when I be­gan traips­ing around Cuba.”

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