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Mental Weather

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Album Review

Jane Ira Bloom's consistently high art and depth-of-field viewpoint in jazz has been evident since the beginning of her substantive career. She's recorded for major and secondary labels, been a crafter of music for NASA, and led her own original modern jazz groups for four decades. With this new release, she returns to her roots, in a way, for the Outline label, where her first albums were produced and distributed. But her music has advanced to a point where it is so distinctive, and you know you are hearing the soprano sax and live electronics of Jane Ira Bloom in the first few notes. This quartet session teams her with the vaunted and tasteful drummer Matt Wilson, longtime bandmate, bassist Mark Helias, and newcomer pianist Dawn Clement. As usual the music is quicksilver elusive, harmonically rich and prescient beyond the jazz realm. Improvisational sculpting is more Bloom's forté than simple song structures. You will hear dynamism personified in the chiming tiny bell inferences and incredible interplay by all four instrumentalists on "Ready for Anything," and the swirling discourse similar to a driving rain shower and upper atmosphere imagery of cloud movement during the live electronics underscoring the title track. Bloom is a soulful, futuristic romantic at heart as demonstrated on her solo medley take of "First Thoughts/This Nearly Was Mine," and supple, serene, ultra-patient "A More Beautiful Question," pieces which bookend the CD. At her most animated and forceful is "Electrochemistry," which invokes the spirit of John Coltrane with stop-start introductory phrases leading to bop laden, bird-like overtones. A hip, repeated harmonic line by Helias sets up "Multiple Choice," with popping and hard bopping drumming from the delightful Wilson accented by some reggae inferences. Clement is an interesting player, not without her own charm, depth, and empathy for Bloom's concept. This is a complete and wonderful recording from start to finish, track-to-track, and continues to proffer the notion that Jane Ira Bloom is at the peak of her formative powers. It's a project that cannot come more highly recommended. [There is an embedded MP3 file, which more fully represents these pieces in modified arrangement to signify how they are presented in continuous live performance.] ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Classic

Simply said, Jane at her best. It should go down a a classic recording.

Mental Weather

Jane Bloom either gets better and better, or she's getting deeper under my skin (her music, I mean)...or both

Biography

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...
Full Bio
Mental Weather, Jane Ira Bloom
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2007

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