Innovative saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom
on the wing again with the release of Wingwalker
NASA musician soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has taken to the air again with the release of her latest CD Wingwalker on the Outline label (OTL140). Long known for her unique sound and daring compositions, Bloom offers her 14th album as leader reuniting with fellow barnstormers Bobby Previte on drums, bassist Mark Helias, and pianist Dawn Clement. Logging two years since her last release "Mental Weather" (OTL139), she brought the quartet into Avatar Studio B in NYC in June 2010 to record new air-dancing compositions that she wrote during a Guggenheim Fellowship. With legendary audio engineer Jim Anderson at the board, the band recorded eleven Bloom originals and a solo sax rendition of Lerner & Lowe's classic "I Could Have Danced All Night." Whether expressing a ballad with spare simplicity like "Adjusting to Midnight" or cruising in time to "Freud's Convertible" with full-throated electronic abandon, her soprano sound always shines "crystal clear like a full moon on a starless night" - jazzweekly.com. The Cd also includes an mp3 downloadable track Wingwalker Singularity that rearranges highlights of songs on the album into a 5 minute and 49 second soundscape. Bloom writes "There's something different about the way the music revealed itself to the band in this recording. We didn't have a lot of preconceptions and that allowed a certain freedom to open up and move the music in unexpected ways. All we had to do was to let it happen."
Navigating the spaceways is nothing new for Bloom who has performed her music in venues as far reaching as the National Air & Space Museum's Einstein Planetarium and the Kennedy Space Center. In the past few years she has performed at jazz concert series at Yale University, Cornish College of the Arts, The Rubin Museum of Art and the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center. A highlight of her schedule included taking part in "Resonations" International Telematic Music Concerts for Peace at the United Nations performing new compositions in real time with renowned musicians from around the world via the internet using telematic music technology. A documentary webcast of the project can be viewed at:
A strong visual thinker, Bloom's affinity for other art forms has lead to collaborations with other innovative artists.She has curated a discussion/ performance series on improvisation at the Philoctetes Center for the Multi-Disciplinary Study of Imagination in NYC, presenting programs that included performing with dancer/ choreographer Carmen deLavallade (Moving & Playing: Jazz Improvisation & Dance) and pianist Fred Hersch (The Art of the Ballad). Videos of the events can be viewed at http://philoctetes.org/past_programs/. She also scored the music for the upcoming "Feiffer Dancer Films" – a series of short films that re-imagine cartoonist Jules Feiffer's "modern dancer" character. The piece created during a 2009 residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center brought Jane into collaboration with renown choreographers Larry Kiegwin, Susan Marshall, writer Jules Feiffer, and Merce Cunningham dancer Andrea Weber.
A pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz, Bloom has garnered numerous awards for her creativity including the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Jazz Journalists Award for soprano saxophone. She's the first musician commissioned by NASA and has an asteroid named in her honor. A new jazz festival in Brooklyn, NY featuring cutting edge woman artists was named in her honor (The Bloom Festival). She has been recording and producing original music since 1977, founding her own record label & publishing company (Outline Music) in 1976 and later recording for ENJA, CBS, Arabesque, and Artistshare Records. She's currently a professor at the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City. Perched on the edge of the jazz tradition Wingwalker puts Bloom's musical imagination on display, crafting moments of beauty and adventure.
Jane appears with her quartet in New York City at Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village on Sunday, Jan 23 at 8:30pm to announce the release of Wingwalker