Monday, April 18, 2011

Jane Ira Bloom Continues Her Journey of Originality with "Wingwalker"

Jane Ira Bloom is no mimeograph. No Xerox copy. For many years she has been in a place of her own. As a soprano sax master she has developed her unmistakably own sound combined with a sense of phrasing that hangs together with great spatial presence and lucidity. Her compositions parallel the originality of her playing.

All this is amply evident on her new CD Wingwalker (Out-Line 140). It's a quartet date with three very compatible fellow-musical artists. Dawn Clement plies the keys of the piano and Rhodes, and though I have missed her to date, she has facility and good sense of what to do when. Bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte probably need no introduction to readers. They too have forged distinct identities, well-suited to Jane I B's vision.

So then what of the music? It's contemporary. It's original. It's not filled with quotations and marginalia on earlier jazz styles. There are beautiful ballads, rock-tinged pieces, things that swing along, some stunning "a capella" soprano, all in a place that Jane Ira Bloom occupies more-or-less by herself. It's in, it's out. It goes where it needs to to express what it needs to.

I read on the promo handout that Jane is the first musician to be commissioned by NASA. That's fitting because she is most definitely out of this world. Oh, there's an interesting 59 second MP3 bonus track that condenses the entire album down to a kind of concentrated nub. That is certainly cool but it's Ms. Bloom in all the fullness of real-time that most impresses. Among sopranos active today, she is in the very select few that qualify as original masters. Wingwalker gives you about an hour of excellent examples of how that is so. Do not dawdle, then, if you have the money to spare. Grab this one.


  1. Agreed! Here she is talking about this record on The Jazz Session:

    All the best,


  2. Thanks once again Jason! Your links are always welcome.