Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jane Ira Bloom, Early Americans

If you have not been paying enough attention to Jane Ira Bloom you are in for a most pleasant shock. Or, for that matter, even if you have. She comes to us today with a landmark trio recording, Early Americans (Outline OTL142). Armed with 12 fetching originals, her soprano sax and some ideal trio team members in bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte, she is otherworldly on this date, no two ways about it.

The kinetic togetherness of the trio is something special, which is not surprising given the caliber of these artists, but nonetheless surpasses anything in the business-as-usual realm to go to the heights. They swing like mad, they make a trio confluence that is nothing but exceptional, and all seem truly inspired and in just the right frame of mind to excel.

The compositional frameworks (with Bernstein's "Somewhere" as the nod to standards) are nicely varied and substantial.

But all-in-all Ms. Bloom's soprano is the main attraction. She has been her own stylist from the very beginning. Yet she has grown into one of the very finest and original exponents of the soprano today, to the point where the past was only a (great) prelude to this, her ravishing contemporary phase. She has it all now--very original tone and incredible control, pristine phrasing and exceptional invention. Nobody sounds quite like this, past or present. She is a marvel, simply put. And hearing her on this album in such sympatico surroundings, you know this is a major achievement, a fulfillment of years of development and creativity. She is tops.

A serious contender for the jazz album of the year, this is. Jane Ira Bloom will bring you musical joy on Early Americans. Do not hesitate, get this album and immerse yourself!

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