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 surprises, syncopations, tempo changes and richly, inventive solos by Bloom and pianist Dawn Clement. Bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte provide an excellent rhythm background to Bloom's melodies, both of them swinging hard on "Airspace," "Life on Cloud 8" and "Rookie."
Bloom always plays with the conviction and energy of a seasoned musician, but her tone can also be warm and welcoming, on the almost lullaby, "Her Exacting Light"; the ballads "Adjusting to Midnight" and "Wingwalker"; and the a capella "I Could Have Danced All Night." There is an effective use of dissonance and space, with Clement's improvisations and chords on "Freud's Convertible," "Frontiers in Science" and "Rookie" echoing the sound of the great Thelonious Monk.
Wingwalker proves, once again, why Jane Ira Bloom is one of the most original and creative saxophonists in jazz today.
Track Listing: Her Exacting Light; Life on Cloud 8; Ending Red Songs; Freud's Convertible; Airspace; Frontiers in Science; Rooftops Speak Dreams; Rookie; Adjusting to Midnight; Live Sports; Wingwalker; I Could Have Danced All Night.
Personnel: Jane Ira Bloom: soprano saxophone, live electronics. Dawn Clement: piano, Fender Rhodes. Mark Helias: bass. Bobby Previte: drums.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.