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Art & Aviation

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Album Review

Art & Aviation is not only one of Jane Ira Bloom's finest albums, it is also a remarkably successful (and fairly early) attempt to bring electronic influences to bear on acoustic jazz. Bloom's writing is strongly infused with a straight-ahead jazz aesthetic. But she veers left on many cuts, altering her soprano sax sound with live electronics and also having drummer Jerry Granelli double on electro-acoustic percussion. While most tracks still sound very much like jazz, the electronics, while never becoming obtrusive, give everything an unpredictable edge. "Most Distant Galaxy" and the title track are Bloom's most radical departures, but there are electronics aplenty, even on her subtle reworking of Thelonius Monk's "Straight No Chaser." The inimitable trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, who makes relatively few sideman appearances, shares the front line with Bloom. Ron Horton, who would later go on to join the Jazz Composers Collective, replaces Wheeler on two cuts. Pianist Kenny Werner also appears on two tracks — the only ones to feature a chordal instrument. On all the others, alternating bassists Rufus Reid and Michael Formanek sketch out the harmony while laying down the bottom. The complex, angular soprano/trumpet unison lines heard on many of the pieces call to mind the harmonically free sound of Ornette Coleman's early recordings with Don Cherry. This holds true especially on "Gateway to Progress," "I Believe Anita," and a wonderful reinvention of "Body and Soul" titled "Hawkins' Parallel Universe." But Bloom is not copying Coleman at all; rather, just as Coleman did, she is pushing jazz into new, similarly controversial areas, without sacrificing musicality for a second. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: 1955 in Boston, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the few full-time soprano saxophonists in jazz, Jane Ira Bloom is also recognized as one of the most accomplished. While not an avant-gardist per se, Bloom works on the forward edge of the mainstream. Compositionally her music draws heavily on traditional jazz precepts of swing and tonality/modality, yet her concept of form and structure is quite personal; overall her music bears the stamp of an individual thinker. Bloom began playing music around the age of 12. She attended Yale University...
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Art & Aviation, Jane Ira Bloom
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  • £7.11
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 01 January 1992

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