Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Cuba - Island Of Music" DVD (director: Gary Keys)

Filmmaker Keys is best-known for his jazz biographies, but this recent release has him traveling to Cuba to document the vibrant Afro-Cuban music scene. "Cuba -Island Of Music" follows less of a narrative style and serves as more of a travelogue, presenting random images and sounds from the streets of Cuba. We get dancers, full bands, and even classic American cars to accompany the sounds, as Keys presents his vision of life on the economically poor but culturally rich island.

Along the way, Keys has interspersed interviews with jazz legends like Billy Taylor, who have taken aspects of Afro-Cuban music into their repertoires. This film succeeds in showing the joyous fervor, as well as the richness of the traditional Cuban music, and how it's interwoven into the fabric of life there.

A lovely and vivacious film, full of unforgettable images and sounds. Superb! (MVD Visual)

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