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Jane Ira Bloom: Ballad Vistas

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Jane Ira Bloom's career has been defined by experiment, whether exploring the outer reaches of space with NASA, the inner world of Jackson Pollock, or the technological cutting edge of telematics and surround sound. Her recent release Sixteen Sunsets combined the subtle artistry of ballad performance with the latest in surround sound techniques, resulting in a critically acclaimed, sumptuous collection. All About Jazz: Your latest album Sixteen Sunsets has received a lot of attention. How did you decide to do an album of ballads? Jane Ira Bloom: It had been percolating for awhile. On just about ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets

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Soprano saxophone virtuoso Jane Ira Bloom's intensely intimate and simultaneously cinematic Sixteen Sunsets is quite different from her preceding albums, Like Silver, Like Song (Artistshare, 2005), Mental Weather (Outline, 2008) and Wingwalker (Outline, 2010). Gone are the edgy flirtations with freer styles as well as the provocative, electrifying compositions. Instead the material is mostly standards and a few originals that are in the essence of those time honored songs, all interpreted with a lush lyricism laced with elegant spontaneous flourishes. Bloom's horn is the main instrument at the forefront of most of the session with the rhythm section ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets

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Sidney Bechet pioneered the use of the soprano saxophone in jazz in the early 20s. John Coltrane brought that “straight horn" out of a relative dormancy of use in 1959 with his anthem-like take on Rodgers and Hammerstein's “My Favorite Things" on his Atlantic Records album of the same name. Steve Lacy took the soprano “out there," and Dave Liebman continues to stretch its boundaries. The name Jane Ira Bloom can be added to that list of icons. For thirty years Bloom has used the soprano saxophone to give voice to fertile and uncompromising artistic spirit. She's broken ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Wingwalker

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On Wingwalker, as on her other albums, soprano saxophonist/electronics manipulator Jane Ira Bloom concerns herself with all things mysterious and beautiful. On this album, however, she does considerably more. The saxophonist has connected with the seemingly magical elements that lead her to expand the imagination. She does so as she lets the voice of her straight horn emerge from the depths of her soul. With impeccable, almost mystical tone and with a palette of a myriad, wondrous colors Bloom conjures a blithe spirit that roams the deepest recesses of the mind, dealing glancing blows not just on the auditory senses, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Wingwalker

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Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is a first-class improviser and composer, and delivers a compelling case for herself on Wingwalker. Full of inventive original compositions, fine performances, and Bloom's rich, natural tone, this record is a standout. Although the soprano saxophone is less frequently heard, this record boldly demands its place at the table with its curved-bell brethren. Bloom takes composition credit for all but one track. Even so, Wingwalker has a collaborative overall feel to it. All of the members of her quartet stand out by necessity, in service to her complex and inventive compositions. Drummer Bobby Previte, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Wingwalker

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There is not a dull or cliché moment on Jane Ira Bloom's fourteenth album, Wingwalker. Her sound has been described as futuristic, and there is certainly some of that on tracks like “Frontiers in Science" and “Live Sports." But, most of all, Bloom is a master composer and musician with a truly unique sound. All compositions on the release are by Bloom, except for the standard, “I Could Have Danced All Night."Even though there are brilliant moments of improvisation all over the album, the emphasis is on the beauty of Bloom's compositions. Each composition has plenty of harmonic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jane Ira Bloom: Wingwalker

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The soprano saxophone often gets a raw deal. Many people see it as a relic from the early ages of jazz, a smooth jazz delivery method or a secondary axe that's only to be used when their alto saxophone, tenor saxophone or clarinet needs a break. While these attitudes are prevalent throughout a large portion of the jazz community, a few artists have bravely soldiered on, making the soprano their instrument of choice. Jane Ira Bloom--along with a few other singularly gifted artists like Sam Newsome and Dave Liebman--continues to bring legitimacy to the idea that the soprano saxophone can ...



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