JANE BUNNETT Embracing Voices (EMI) Rating: NNNN
The result of a painstaking recording process at Alberta's Banff Centre, this expansive project is like a hot blast of Caribbean weather during a chilly Canadian winter.
Thirteen inspired artists deliver one stunning performance after another. An irresistible Jane Bunnett says, "I'm so sublime, I don't know what time is," between the confident flutes on Serafina. Telmary and Kellylee Evans embellish the vocals so subtly that it's occasionally difficult to discern their presence, but since the collective's vocals often crescendo with the swirling piano, horn and percussion storms into a united force of Afro-Cuban jazz magic, it's rarely an issue. Not until the track Pancho Quinto does the chillingly harmonious choral ensemble Grupo Vocal Desandann start to emerge after simply providing gentle textures.
Embracing Voices, with songs in English, Creole and Spanish, offers exceptional melodies that are hard to dismiss.
Telmary performs at Yonge-Dundas Square as part of Mondo Musik a-Go-Go, Friday (August 15).