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Jane Ira Bloom

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Album Review

Jane Ira Bloom is a rarity in jazz, a full-time soprano saxophonist instead of doubling on it from a separate horn. Bloom has long pushed the envelope with her provocative compositions and deft use of electronics to twist her notes, though she retains a gift for creating memorable melodies when not exploring the avant-garde outright. For this session, she is joined by up-and-coming pianist Dawn Clement, along with veterans Mark Helias on bass and her frequent drummer Bobby Previte. The opener, "Her Exacting Light," is much like a dramatic sunrise interpreted in musical form, with Bloom projecting its beauty. "Life on Cloud 8" seems like a mini-suite, taking the listener on a journey through several different styles. The whimsical nature of the bluesy "Freud's Convertible" is immediately apparent, with Bloom's creative use of electronics to add harmony a bonus. "Wingwalker" is full of sudden twists in a free setting, a captivating work that sounds totally improvised, even if it isn't. The one standard is Bloom's unaccompanied interpretation of Lerner & Loewe's "I Could Have Danced All Night," with her spacious, melancholy playing needing no backup, as it would have shattered the mood she created. There are no slips on Jane Ira Bloom's ambitious Wingwalker.


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...
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Wingwalker, Jane Ira Bloom
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