Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

130

Jane Ira Bloom: Mental Weather

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Jane Ira Bloom is a pixie. An electronicized pixie, to be precise. This is not entirely a musical image, but also a description of her onstage demeanor. Mental Weather's chief quality is one of capering lightness, as the quartet leader's soprano saxophone negotiates the tricky lines set up by the composing half of her brain, navigating around hyperventilating themes that are tightly twinned with the similarly stippling piano and Fender Rhodes of Dawn Clement. The bass and drums of Mark Helias and Matt Wilson are cast in a surprisingly funky role, bringing these airy women down to earth.

This very quartet played a one-nighter at New York's Iridium in late January, 2008, but the turnout was tragically low, imparting a windswept sense of desolation to the normally well-filled club. This is 'cool' music to begin with, so a smattering of ten or fifteen audience members only exacerbated its stark chamber qualities, with few bodies around to soak up the hard edges. Despite these circumstances, Bloom gave a strong performance, with the pieces turning out to be coated with more grit than their sleeker album versions.

On the album, Bloom and Clement often produce a lingering after-ring, whether naturally or through the use of delay effects. Wilson makes effective use of light bell-chimes, gong-bending and soft cymbal strokes, while Helias adopts an extremely tactile feel to his riff-dominated contributions; the title piece features a wonderfully compulsive bass repeat. Bloom stresses that her electronics are 'live', directly affecting her improvisation as each translucent solo unravels. Her applied sounds are never as weeblingly tasteless as those adopted by, for example, Pat Metheny, the extensions and alterations nestling beside the horn's natural timbre, while still transforming its sound into the cry of an alien beast. Her very motion is part of the sound, as she hops from foot to foot, sweeping her horn from microphone to microphone. There's even an image of this blurring action on the album's cover. The sonic effect of this movement is even more pronounced in the live domain. Nevertheless, Bloom's steely precision still has an emotional root. As a bonus, the disc also includes an MP3 file that presents the music as a seamless experience, with a different running order, its aim being to reflect an unfolding concert experience.

Track Listing: A More Beautiful Question; Ready For Anything; Multiple Choice; Mental Weather; Luminous Bridges; Electrochemistry; Cello On The Inside; What To Wear; First Thoughts/This Nearly Was Mine.

Personnel: Jane Ira Bloom: soprano saxophone, live electronics; Dawn Clement: piano, Fender Rhodes; Mark Helias: bass; Matt Wilson: drums, percussion.

Title: Mental Weather | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Outline

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Chromola" CD/LP/Track Review Chromola
by John Eyles
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Stratus" CD/LP/Track Review Stratus
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Lattice" CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017