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Jane Ira Bloom: Chasing Paint

Jim Santella By

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Commissioned by the Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Jane Ira Bloom interprets six Jackson Pollock canvases with her quartet. The visual motion, depicted by the artist through unconventional means, translates easily to the light, bouncy manner in which the soprano saxophonist performs. This suite debuted a year ago at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and was recorded in a studio shortly thereafter. When Bloom stands before an audience, the column of air that supports her buttery tone is projected right and left with a swooshing motion. Hence, the distinctive relationship to Pollock’s work. Three of his paintings are represented at janeirabloom.com .

Fred Hersch, Mark Dresser and Bobby Previte alternate lush, dreamy landscapes and a swinging, straight-ahead jazz foundation in support of the saxophonist’s adventures. Her passionate interpretation provides insight into the goals Pollock had in mind when he created these works of art. The quartet’s emphasis remains focused on the theme of motion in art; hence, their program of chamber jazz eschews the tradition in favor of dreamier sequences. The live electronics employed by the saxophonist apply to the motion of her column of air, and serve as an extension of her trademark right & left lobs. With her live microphone controls, the saxophone’s tone is tossed this way and that. At times it’s split harmonically or altered. It’s as if Jackson Pollock were directing the notes that fly from her horn.


Track Listing: Unexpected Light; Chasing Paint; The Sweetest Sounds; On Seeing JP; Many Wonders; Jackson Pollock; Alchemy; Reflections of the Big Dipper; White Light.

Personnel: Jane Ira Bloom- soprano saxophone, live electronics; Fred Hersch- piano; Mark Dresser- bass; Bobby Previte- drums.

Title: Chasing Paint | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Arabesque Jazz


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