Chasing Paint opens with dreamy piano chords, over which Jane Ira Bloom applies gentle strokes of her buttery soprano tone, presumably an homage to one of Jackson Pollock’s more subtle drip paintings. Pollock, a jazz lover, famously listened to the stuff while working, though he liked the old style variety as opposed to the freely improvised music that would later become associated with his paintings.
Bloom has a lighter touch than one would at first associate with the bold hand of Pollock, but not all of the great painter’s canvasses were bombastic. Bloom gets it right, not mistaking the drip paintings for pure exercises in free improvisation. Though Pollock allowed a wide degree of accident, his work was also tightly controlled and thoroughly conceived. Thus, Chasing Paint is composed with an appropriate mixture of planning and masterly improvisation.
Pollock hit on an idea and, this established, only needed to perfect his technique and settle into steady production to realize a large number of these great products of modern art. With Fred Hersch on piano, the superb Mark Dresser on bass, Bobby Previte on drums, a nice book of tunes and the right idea, Bloom only needed the studio time and a decent engineer to turn out a first rate recording, which is just what Chasing Paint is.
Chasing Paint doesn’t clamor or crash much. Previte sounds slightly restrained, and Dresser plays it straighter than usual on several tunes, but this is just as the tunes require. Hersch’s piano work is solid, though as always a little too perfect for my taste. Still, the pieces catch fire at times, especially late in the game, and track seven, “Alchemy,” breaks free into more unfettered territory. The music on Chasing Paint is sensitive and subtly layered, sometimes contemplative, sometimes brightly active—just like an exhibit of Jackson Pollock’s art.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.