Stories » Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias and Bobby Previte are fearless on 'Early Americans' / Critics At Large

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Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias and Bobby Previte are fearless on 'Early Americans' / Critics At Large

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In talking about jazz nothing warms my heart more than hearing from a musician who says she loves the notion of being off balance, playing in the moment, and has a keen sense of rhythm. And so it goes for composer and soprano sax player Jane Ira Bloom and her marvelous new album Early Americans (Outline, 2016). The album features 13 tracks all less than six minutes, which is quite the feat for a group of musicians who love to improvise. On this record, Bloom's 16th as a leader, she's joined by Mark Helias, bass and Bobby Previte, drums yet it's only her first trio album. To put out an album of soprano sax, bass and drums immediately tells you that Bloom and her band mates are fearless by not including a piano player or a guitar player to round out the chords that put music into harmonic context. By the same token Early Americans isn't a wild and crazy record of free jazz that, unless you're in the room, has a tendency to be self-indulgent. Bloom's record is much more formal with 12 original compositions and one beautiful cover ("Somewhere" by Leonard Bernstein) gracing the disc. Each work has an emotional appeal and stands self-assured creating a short story aspect to the album. 

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