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Jane Ira Bloom - Wild LInes, Improvising Emily Dickinson / Audiophile Audition review

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(Jane Ira Bloom; soprano/ Dawn Clement; piano/ Mark Helias; Bass/ Bobby Previte; drums/ Deborah Rush; voice)

The idea of a modern jazz quartet taking its inspiration from the poetry of Emily Dickinson is ingenious but not obvious. By the standards of her poet-contemporaries she was deliberately unmusical–staccato, dissonant and ironical–features more readily associated with modernistic poetry or even bebop. To these features, we might add a hidden strength and a playful contrariness. Taken together, we have a banner for a band that plays serious original music without undue concern for categories or genre expectations. So what can we expect from a double cd dedicated to the Concord Solitary?

The answer is to be found in a appropriately divided project that amounts to a musical encounter with the spirit of Dickenson. The first disc features 15 works (and oddly, one standard) that are titled after her poems or famous lines within. The second has unadorned reading (mercifully no singing) of the poems now attached to the musical charts, followed by improvised treatments. This allows the band to reimagine the tunes while negotiating the exacting compositions. Superb compositions for jazz quartet inspired by verses of Emily Dickinson, with ten readings integrated into alternative versions. - Fritz Balwit Audiophile Audition

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