Home » Artists » Early Americans

Jane Ira Bloom: Bio

"There's no one like her. Anywhere."  - Gene Seymour

"one of the very finest and original exponents of the soprano today" – Grego Applegate Edwards

Soaring, poetic, quick silver, adventurous and instantly identifiable are words used to describe the soprano sound of saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. She's been steadfastly developing her singular voice on the straight horn for 40 years creating a body of music that marks her as an American original. She's a winner of the 2017 Downbeat & JazzTimes Critics Polls, a ten-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association Award for soprano sax, and the Charlie Parker Award for Jazz Innovation. She has collaborated with such outstanding jazz artists as Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester, Mark Dresser, Jerry Granelli, Matt Wilson, Rufus Reid and Fred Hersch.  Her 2015 trio release "Early Americans" was cited as one of the best CDs of 2016 by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll; her 2014 all-ballads project "Sixteen Sunsets" was nominated for a Grammy Award for surround-sound.  In addition she's garnered numerous awards for her creativity including a Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition and the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Award for lifetime service to jazz. JIB was the first musician commissioned by the NASA Art Program and was honored to have an asteroid named in her honor by the International Astronomical Union (asteroid 6083janeirabloom). 

Bloom's affinity for other art forms has both enriched her music and led to collaborations with other innovative artists. She has scored music for dancer/ choreographer Carmen DeLavallade, legendary drummer Bernard Purdie, comedian Lewis Black, and actor Vanessa Redgrave. Her long-standing interests in space exploration, neuroscience, and abstract painting have lead to innovative recording projects inspired by outer and inner space. She has performed at the "Arts & Mars" Conference sponsored by NASA w/ Grace Farms as well as joined other cutting edge artists participating in "Art in Science" and "Rhythms of the Brain" symposiums sponsored by DARPA. Her recent interest in Emily Dickinson's poetry and 2015 commission from the Doris Duke/ CMA New Jazz Works Program led to the creation of Wild Lines, a jazz reimagining of the poet's work that premiered at UMASS / Amherst in the poet's hometown. The piece was also performed at the Kennedy Center, The NYPL for the Performing Arts @ Lincoln Center and The International Dickinson Society Conference at Amherst College. 

The subject of numerous media profiles on network television, on radio, and in major national magazines, JIB has recorded and produced 17 albums since 1977 for CBS/SONY, Arabesque, ENJA, JMT, Pure Audio, Sono Luminous and Artistshare, and founded her own record label (Outline Records). A professor at the New School for Jazz in New York City, she holds degrees from Yale University, the Yale School of Music and continues to find inspiration merging her music with the world of arts and ideas.

1 Song Patrol
2 Dangerous Times
3 Nearly
4 Hips & Sticks
5 Singing the Triangle
6 Other Eyes
7 Rhyme or Rhythm
8 Mind Gray River
9 Cornets of Paradise
10 Say More
11 Gateway to Progress
12 Big Bill
13 Somewhere
Jane Ira Bloom - Early Americans
Jane Ira Bloom on Being in the Triangle
Jane Ira Bloom - "Early Americans" in Surround Sound
NEW SCHOOL MINUTE: Jane Ira Bloom, 'Deep Edges; Improvising Slow Songs' | The New School
Jane Ira Bloom: Valuing Choices Made in the Moment
2018 Grammy Winners for Best Surround Sound: Jane Ira Bloom, Jim Anderson, Darcy Proper
A Singer's Approach

You never know what American original soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is going to do next. After the success of her 2014 all-ballads release "Sixteen Sunsets" Bloom shifts into another gear showcasing the kinetic energy of her acclaimed trio playing with the musicians that she knows best on Early Americans (OTL142). It's her first trio album, sixteenth as leader and sixth recording on the Outline label. Her sound is like no other on the straight horn and she lets it fly on every track. She's joined by long-time bandmates Mark Helias on bass & drummer Bobby Previte and with over fifty years of shared musical history together the album is sure to be a winner. Bloom's collaboration with Helias dates back to the mid 70's in New Haven CT and her unique chemistry with Previte has been ongoing since 2000. She brought the group together in summer 2015 to Avatar Studio B in NYC to capture their breathtaking sound in both stereo and surround-sound with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features twelve Bloom originals ranging from the rhythmic drive of "Song Patrol" and "Singing The Triangle" to the spare melancholy of "Mind Gray River." She closes the album with a signature solo rendition of the American songbook classic, Bernstein & Sondheim's "Somewhere." World-renowned portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe contributes a stunning cover image of Bloom. "Playing in threes" has always held a special fascination for jazz artists - it offers the possibility that something can be slightly off balance and that's just what fires the imagination of players like Bloom, Helias, & Previte. With Early Americans Jane Ira Bloom stands in the vanguard of her generation carving out new territory in the heart of the jazz tradition. Don't miss this trio of "fearless jazz explorers who share a commitment to beauty & adventure."