What critics are saying about 2.3.23...

"There is beauty here"
- Graham Reid, Elsewhere

"Albums with Bloom's name on them have seldom failed to engage…for their breadth, pure improvisation and melodic dexterity"
-Graham Reid, Elsewhere

"Bloom has followed a path of unbridled creativity throughout her career…her playing always carries a particular weight and precision, whether she’s emitting joyful melodies, ethereal notes or stratospheric improvisation."
-Franz Matzner, NYC Jazz Record

"These recordings completely challenge any preconceived notions the listener might have about any “right way” to collaborate or create improvisational music."
-Lawrence Peryer, Spotlight On

"Jane Ira Bloom has a poetic and cosmic artistry"
-John Devenish, JazzFm91

"Like the greatest of astronauts, Jane Ira Bloom has explored worlds unknown…She has done her own “space exploration”… through the space of sounds. It’s been a career that has successfully taken the listeners on to new frontiers, and the trek…continues to be a successful quest through the galaxy of music.”
-George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

"Bloom has carved out an impressive career creating a fresh sound with the straight saxophone...few have attained mastery of it which makes her all the more fascinating as an artist."
-George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

What critics are saying about PICTURING THE INVISIBLE: FOCUS 1...

"Picturing the Invisible is a stunning study in contrasts: sound and silence, simple and complex, together and apart."
- Sarah Jones/ Mix Magazine

"a sumptuous collection of spare, improvisational duets recorded in ultra-high-resolution 32-bit/384 kHz, was a revelation: The sound presentation was so richly detailed, I felt like I could feel the air in the room."
-Sarah Jones, Popular Science

"a radical pivot that pushed Bloom to her creative limits, while bringing a new sense of immediacy and honesty to the collaborative process."
-Sarah Jones/ Mix Magazine

"The recording and performances are seemless, sounding like the musicians were recording together in the same real vs. virtual space. This is a testament to the talent of the musicians, modern technology and the engineering chops of Ms. Schwarz."
-Joe Whip, Audiophile Style

"where the music went is solely the result of the creative interplay among the attentive musicians"
-Jim Mottavalli/ NYC Jazz Record

“For me, a master record. “
-Donos Culturalry

What critics are saying about See Our Way...

"**** 4 stars"

"**** 4 stars "
- marlbank – Track of the Day


"their musical relationship runs deeper than mere mastery to a rare kind of empathetic musical discourse…a feast for the ears"
-Franz Matzner, NYC Jazz Record

“remarkably profound and succinct series of soprano sax and bass improvisations”
-Stephen Graham, marlbank

“Fantastic music, confirming the great class and artistic imagination of this excellent duo.”
-Donos Kulturalry

"mesmerizing…lyrical and emotionally rich …See Our Way covers a lot of ground, showing off that when two musicians with a long-running connection and affinity get together, there’s no end to the possibilities."
-Brad Rose/ Foxy Digitalis

"Jane Ira Bloom is a natural improvisor…one of the few, committed, full-time soprano players and in the company of Mark Helias, she pulls composed improvisation out of less than a wisp of mist, out of nothing."
-Ken Cheetham/ JazzViews

"See Our Way is an intoxicant; even the first few notes of each piece are delivered in an acoustic that is entirely spellbinding, carrying balminess and profundity through the entire project.  Both musicians seem to have bottomless depths to their inventiveness…"
-Ken Cheetham/ JazzViews

"13 pure improvisations in the form of walks that can take you far away."
-The Best of Couleurs jazz week

"unbridled creativity…her playing always carries a particular weight and precision, whether she’s emitting joyful melodies, ethereal notes or stratospheric improvisation."
-Franz Matzner, NYC Jazz Record

What critics are saying about Tues Days...

"**** 4 stars"
- DOWNBEAT – James Hale & John McDonough

"**** 4 stars "

"**** 4 stars - Even if it is remotely, you are never alone."
- Kevin Jurkovic/All About Jazz

"**** 4 stars - Best New Jazz Albums Feb 2022"
- Brian Priestley/ Jazzwise


"their musical relationship runs deeper than mere mastery to a rare kind of empathetic musical discourse…a feast for the ears"
-Franz Matzner, NYC Jazz Record

"An Electrifying Album by Two of the Most Distinctive Players in Jazz"
-Lucid Culture

“ Bloom is the rare improviser who can pull a complete song out of thin air”
-Lucid Culture

"Together the two conjure up one of the year’s most entertaining albums…full of humor, and depth, and inspiring interplay."
-Lucid Culture

"No one alive is a greater exponent of the soprano saxophone, and no one, living or dead, has carved out such a wide-ranging body of work on the instrument."
-Steve Elman/ Arts Fuse

"these Bloom duets are special…Bloom is free to be her singing self on her saxophone – and these performances demonstrate once again that she is one of those rare artists who has the Gift of Melody."
-Steve Elman/ Arts Fuse

"these duets become adventures in space."
- Steve Elman/ Arts Fuse

…unbridled, pure human engagement…
-Kevin Jurkovic/ All About Jazz

"irresistible… These are two elite musicians who bring their ‘A’ game so naturally in sessions that began as just live in-the-moment fun…. We are the beneficiaries of this colorful, lyrical, rhythmic musical painting"
-Jim Hymes/Making A Scene

"there is a wonder this is just two musicians. It is a musical kaleidoscope, offering richness and also a delicacy which is engaging. No two tracks offer the same feel…this is about two people, reactions and just being….Tues Days is packed with energy, textures and alive in its movement and chameleon-like changes…It is a journey, a musical escapade and a delight."
-Sammy Stein, SomethingElse!

"you are taken on a journey courtesy of the warm sound of soprano sax and the most discreet support from a deftly touched drum kit."
-Graham Reid/ Elsewhere

"a real journey through dangerous places…each piece has its own flavor, and together they make up a wonderful example of the free, without any restrictions, art of improvisation, which both performers are fluent in. Bravo, Allison and Jane Ira! "
- Leonid Auskern/ Jazz Quad

"The Best Jazz on Bandcamp: September 2021 You can’t go wrong with this engaging session from drummer Allison Miller and soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. "
- Dave Sumner/ Bandcamp

"Allison Miller and Jane Ira Bloom’s fully improvised duet record is a charmer."
- Jim Macnie/ Lament for a Straight Line

"We need more like this."
-Andrew Hamlin/ JazzTimes

"two selective, open-minded people feeling their way through the music… choosing to let it all go"
- Carol Banks Weber/ Festival Peak

"The wisest improvisers know how to sculpt their presentations to conjure the impact of a full ensemble. This new duo exchange between soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and drummer Allison Miller pulls off such a trick"
- Jim Macnie/ Lament for a Straight Line

"The compositions are made up in-the-moment, energetic, tactile, alive…."
- Matt Micucci/ Jazziz

"Miller and Bloom guide and prod each other into consistently interesting sound patterns. They do not sound like anyone else."
- Jim Motavalli/ NYC Jazz Record

"one of the joys of the album is that…Miller's pulse is consistently engaging and inspiring. This leaves Bloom to carry the responsibility of constantly finding melodic hooks that are pleasing and she stands out as usual for her lyrical ideas and emotive tone."
- Brian Pristley/ Jazzwise

"The empathy between Bloom and Miller is immediately apparent …there’s a pleasing thoughtfulness about the music’s natural flow"
- Peter Gamble / Jazz Journal

"two minimalists with deep listening skill...loose, limber, and personal throughout, this set of spontaneous compositions is one for the time capsule."
- James Hale/ Downbeat

"These extemporaneous duets sparkle with invigorating imagination."
-John Murph/ Downbeat

" larks on the wind. Mercurial...engaging"
-John McDonough/ Downbeat

What critics are saying about Some Kind Of Tomorrow...

**** 4 stars - excellent
- Brian Priestley, Jazzwise

"These players are well-matched. Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is a melodist with a distinctive, bittersweet sound and vibrato, and Mark Helias brings out the woody resonance of the bass with a precise percussive attack."
-Kevin Whitehead, NPR

"One of the world’s greatest soprano saxophonists Bloom’s beautiful tone and bluesy directness are arresting and refreshing."
-Stephen Graham, Marlbank

"distance is no match for their musical bond…listen and you’ll hear evidence of their success"
-Nate Chinen/WBGO

"An exceptional duo… a show of masterly understanding, fantastic response to the actions of the musical partner, and true artistic unity. Fantastic, great, amazing album."
-Donos Kulturalny

“two veterans… at the peak of their game”
-Sammy Stein, Jazz Views

"the sound is raw, intimate, and fearless."
-Delarue, Lucid Culture

What critics are saying about Wild Lines...

4 stars **** out of 4 “One of the year's great jazz records by one of our greatest jazz poets and the brilliant friends who understand her completely.
- Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

5 stars ***** “Bloom sings to us with her soprano saxophone and the experience is unforgettable...Extraordinary - in concept and in execution. A brilliant achievement”
- Grady Harp,

5 stars ***** Jazz Masterpiece of the Month
- Arnaldo Desoutiero, Jazz, Bossa, & Beyond

4 1/2 stars ****1/2 “ musicianship of Bloom and her partners. Bloom's soaring, lyrical soprano saxophone is a case study in how to make musical statements that are both technically stunning and melodically rich; and her bandmates can do it all, with music that is by turns energetic, pensive, and amusing. It's a consummate effort from four (and counting Rush, five) masters at work, and it's yet another gem of a record from Bloom, who seemingly can do no wrong at this stage of her storied career.”
- Troy Dostert, All About Jazz

“With the Belle of Amherst as her muse, the soprano saxophonist and composer Jane Ira Bloom has fashioned a vibrant, wholly unpretentious, double-disk project, “Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson,” which translates both the introspective and the visionary nature of the great poet into exultant modern jazz.”
- The New Yorker

“one of the singularly voiced soprano sax aces of our times…Smoking art jazz that goes the distance.” 
- - Chris Spector, Midwest Record

"Wild Lines" is a magnificent recording, filled with intelligent and open melodies, inspired interactions, and a collective love of exploration. One should not discount how well the Quartet works together, the powerful and graceful contributions of Mark  Helias and Bobby Previte, the excellent piano playing of Dawn Clement, and, of course, the wonder-filled work of Jane Ira Bloom… truly an infinity of riches”
- Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest

4 ½ stars **** ½ “this excellent and original album goes someway to restoring and revitalizing the memory of one of America's finest poets, realized by one of America's finest soprano saxophonists.”
- Roger Farby, All About Jazz

" one of the most powerful jazz albums of the year...Phenomenal…and Bloom’s Sound? Irresistible!”
- Dylan Cem Akalin,

4 ½ stars **** ½ “This is a splendid suite of music…Her band has never sounded better, and Deborah Rush was an inspired choice for narrator.”
- Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz”

“Immersed in Dickinson’s 19th-Century poetry and competently assisted by the gifted musicality of her bandmates, Jane Ira Bloom renders a contemporary jazz album that is poetry itself.”
- Felipe Freitas, JazzTrail

“instant classic... I’m certain will be revered for many years to come.”
- Tom Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

“…it is jazz and poetry. If you think the two don’t mix, get this and it will blow your mind. Two great composers… one of improvising musics finest soprano sax players”
- Bob Rusch, Cadence

4 stars **** “Bloom plays the soprano with a combination of evenness and irony, like Dickinson wrote poetry. The tunes and the improvisations stand on their own, evoking the source document without bending back in time.”
- Giovanni Russonello, Downbeat

“Once again, Bloom has triumphed in producing fresh and original music that reflects both the literary and musical tradition of her native land.”
- Nick Lea, Jazz Views

**** four stars “Superb compositions for jazz quartet inspired by verses of Emily Dickinson... This is a bold and rewarding project by a musician who is nudging her way into great composer status in the course of a long and fruitful career.””
- Fritz Balwit, Audiophile Audition

“Is there a sound in jazz more instantly identifiable than Jane Ira Bloom's soprano saxophone?... the instrument is as close to being a natural extension of her body as an instrument could conceivably be… this imaginative project ranks with her best”
- Ron Schepper/ Textura

“Jane is one of the most important soprano saxophone creators on the jazz scene today… gets my PICK for best sax/spoken-word album.”
- Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews

What critics are saying about Early Americans...

***** 5 stars Bloom has endured as one of the most distinctive soprano saxophonists in all of jazz, with a warmly expressive tone and lyrically passionate approach
- Scott Albin,

**** 4 stars an album that ranks among Bloom's most successful.
- Alain Drouot, Downbeat

one of the most distinctive players in all of jazzÖ One of the great jazz records of the year thus far. **** Four stars out of four.
- Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

Popmatterís Best Albums of 2016
******* 7 stars Bloom has established herself as one of the preeminent soprano players of the era.

- Justin Cober-Lake, Popmatters

**** 4 stars Soprano Saxophonist finds that three is the perfect number

- Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition

Crystalline beauty! Jane has such a grand and glorious tone that she plays one note and your hear the whole instrument.

-Steven Cerra, Jazz Profiles

Jane Ira Bloom does what she wants when she wants and she always makes it sing! So help me, she can do anything with that horn! The tone, the phrasing, the emotion are warm and wonderful. As is the whole album.

-Travis Rodgers Jr., JazzTimes

Bloom's first trio recording but she takes to the format as if born to it...pure joy

- Michael Roberts, Jazziz

Bloom solidifies her reputation as one of America's most powerful and passionate soprano saxophonists with this disc.

- Tom Henry, The Blade

One of the giants of the soprano sax’s finest recording in recent times.

- Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene

When it comes to truly creative work with the soprano sax today, Jane Ira Bloom is the name to rememberÖ some truly great music from an artist who knows how to get the most out of her instrument. The album is a tour de force.

- Jack Goodstein, Blogcritics

Early Americans is a joy from beginning to end. It’s fun, melodic, rhythmical, adventurous, emotionally satisfying, and quite moving. Bloom continues to search the worlds around her, above and inside to create music that resonates long after the sounds fade.

- Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest

There is no one like Jane Ira Bloom. First of all, she plays soprano sax filling in all the spaces with the molecular precision of a scientist, and the poetic pronouncements of the misunderstood

- Carol Banks Weber, AXS

Bloom, as Rollins, is ceaselessly inventive and just as invigorating. Compositions here are packed full of life and effortless swing.

- Bret Saunders, Denver Post

Jane Ira, Mark and Bobby bring a virtuoso level of musicianship into an intimate trio setting and produce music that is warm, flowing and conversational - the epitome of the kind of dynamic interaction one would expect from a blending of such exceptionally talented musicians.

- Steven Cerra, Jazz Profiles

Jane Ira Bloom's synthesis of music and motion yields a mesmerizing blend of sound and sight, a sonic mobile creating a whirling world of kaleidoscopic shapes, colors, drama, and flowing lines all its own.

- Owen McNally, WNPR

Bloom's been playing at the top of her game for quite a while and once again, she finds a way to make that top rise a little higher killer stuff

- MWR, Midwest Record

Her playing is flawless and once again she has produced music of great individuality and originality that could belong to no one elseÖ she is beholden to no one and fearless in the way she exerts her own authority and personality upon this difficult instrument.

- Nick Lea, Jazzviews

Listening Post: Jane Ira Bloom with Bobby Previte
Jane Ira Bloom Early Americans (Outline) **** Four Stars
By Jeff Simon
May 6, 2016

Jane Ira Bloom with Mark Helias and Bobby Previte “Early Americans” (Outline, released next week) Here is the latest great record from a truly great jazz relationship that has been going on for many decades. Soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is one of the most distinctive players in all of jazz and has been playing with bassist Mark Helias since the 1970s. Her work with Western New York-bred drummer/composer Bobby Previte has produced phenomenal music since 2000. This is Bloom’s first trio record and it’s reminiscent in its magical use of musical space to some of the trio music recorded by various different configurations called The Jimmy Giuffre Three. Except for a magnificent, haunting solo soprano saxophone aria of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (a Jane Ira Bloom specialty) all of the compositions are Bloom’s own. The interplay of the three musicians who know each other so well is on the level of some of the greatest intimate configurations in the history of jazz and the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Giuffre Threes of both the ‘50s and very early ‘60s, the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond, The long-standing ìStandards Trioî of Keith Jarrett. Previte, especially, is an amazingly imaginative accompaniment to Bloom. But then he’s always been as much percussionist as drummer, ever since studying at UB with Jan Williams. Kenny Wheeler, the late Canadian/British trumpet player with the unique tone, is remembered in a tune called “Nearly”. We’re not told whom Big Bill is dedicated to (Broonzy?) but whoever it is, it’s the kind of insinuating, simple tune that can go through listeners’ heads for days. And what she, Previte and Helias do with it is marked by a thrilling unity of purpose that is like little else you’ll hear in jazz these days. Truth to tell it was never very common. One of the great jazz records of the year thus far.

What critics are saying about Sixteen Sunsets...
2014 Grammy nominee for Best Surround Sound Album

***** 5 stars Take a deep breath… and hear sounds that you've never heard before. Jane Ira Bloom sings to us with her soprano sax and the experience is unforgettable.
- Grady Harp,

Ten Best Albums of 2013 – Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets
- Marcella Breton, Jazz Journalists Association

Ten Best Albums of 2013 – Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets
- W. Royal Stokes, Jazz Journalists Association

Best Jazz CDs of 2013 – Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets
- Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours

Best New Jazz for 2013 – Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets
- Ralph A. Miriello, Jazz Blogspot

The Best Jazz of 2013 – Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets
- Arnold DeSouteiro, Jazz, Bossa & Beyond

"One of the very best jazz records of the year... Not only is this one of the best jazz discs of the year, it's, without doubt, one of the most beautiful records soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has ever made in a recording life that has been replete with the sublime".
- Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

"This album sets new standards for the hi-res surround recording of jazz…absolutely mesmerizing."
- John Henry, Audiophile Audition

"With taste to spare, Bloom delivers a real career defining kind of set that only a tried and true vet knows how to deliver. A winner throughout."
- Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Sixteen Sunsets isn't just jazz... it's an exercise in refinement and every cut is a painting. "Mesmerizing," "haunting," and "gorgeous" are only a few of the accolades. Nonetheless, I'm warning the listener: don't plan on doing anything else because you'll be pulled into a dream when you throw Sunsets into the player.
- Mark S. Tucker,

Outstanding CDs of 2013 Pick. "Sidney Bechet...John Coltrane...Steve Lacy....The name Jane Ira Bloom can be added to that list of icons. Bloom has used the soprano saxophone to give voice to fertile and uncompromising artistic spirit... Her most beautiful recording to date... Sixteen Sunsets is, arguably, Jane Ira Bloom's most compelling recording....And the sound quality is out of this world."
- Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"My word can Jane Ira Bloom play! The expression, the touch, the ease with which she works her way through an American songbook of ballads as well as stunning originals..."
-Phil Jackson, Acid Dragon

"Bloom is in total command."
- J. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

2013 Artist Picks - Jane Ira Bloom Sixteen Sunsets "Fifty years after Coltrane's recording first appeared, Bloom perpetuates the tradition with a beautiful one of her own that can't be praised too highly.
- Textura

"Sixteen Sunsets… shows the infinite possibilities of the soprano saxophone."
- Marc Phillips/ The Vinyl Anachronist

"Recorded in stunning hi-resolution, Sixteen Sunsets, is awe-inspiring and mesmerizing to behold"
- Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

"Her soprano saxophone can make your skin tingle as few others on her instrument ever have."
- Gene Seymour

"Jane Ira Bloom projects her tone as a round, silvery beam, warm and diffuse along the edges but pinpoint-clear at the center…compositions glow with meditative intent, even as Ms. Bloom dopplers her soprano across the sonic plane."
-Nate Chinen, NY Times

Jane Ira Bloom Sixteen Sunsets [Outline] **** Four stars
By Jeff Simon

You can't beat the timing. One of the very best jazz records of the year came out just before 2013 was about to become a memory.

Not only is this one of the best jazz discs of the year, it's, without doubt, one of the most beautiful records soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has ever made in a recording life that has been replete with the sublime.

It is, mostly, a quartet ballad disc with bassist Cameron Brown, drummer Matt Wilson and pianist Dominic Fallacaro in the chair that had so frequently been occupied by the great Fred Hersch, who recently performed in the irreplaceable Albright-Knox Art of Jazz series.

All you have to do is hear the opening measures of the disc's first cut, "For All We Know," to understand that Bloom's beauty of tone and melodic purity on this disc is almost preternaturally beautiful.

It is, nevertheless, immediately apparent that what she's doing here is devoid of risk taking. Far from it. The way she's bending tones into coloratura high notes on her saxophone is nothing if not risky, but she's doing it with so much grace and plump, gorgeous tone that she is getting away with everything.

There is some uptempo playing here, but for the most part this is as exquisite as slower ballad playing gets in jazz. And no small part of it is Fallacaro, who is absolutely on the level with the best pianists Bloom ever had, and that is a kind of who's who of living jazz pianists under age 60.

It's long been known that Bloom is all but obsessed with NASA and what it does (it has made her its artist laureate). The title here comes from a quote from astronaut Joseph Allen: "The sun truly 'comes up like thunder,' and it sets just as fast (in space). Each sunrise and sunset last only a few seconds. But in that time, you see at least eight different bands of color come and go, from a brilliant red to the brightest and deepest blue. And you see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day you're in space. No sunrise or sunset is ever the same."

Do not, for a second, think that is megalomaniacal overinflation of Bloom's approach to the playing of some of the most beautiful ballads in the great American Songbook. It's not.
A magnificent disc – a balladic revelation for the final weeks of the year.

December 26, 2013.

*****5.0 out of 5 stars
'Sometimes I throw sound around the band like paint and other times I play and feel as if I was carving silence like a sculptor'

November 21, 2013
By Grady Harp

Take a deep breath, even if you have to admit you have not heard of this sterling artist, put on the recording (I was sent an Audio CD for review), and hear sounds that you've never heard before. Jane Ira Bloom sings to us with her soprano sax and the experience is unforgettable. And in case you don't know this name – ye – the following bio is very impressive to read form her PR website:

'Soprano saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom has been steadfastly developing her unique voice on the soprano saxophone for over 30 years. She is a pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz, as well as the possessor of "one of the most gorgeous tones and hauntingly lyrical ballad conceptions of any soprano saxophonist - Pulse." A strong visual thinker and a cinematic stylist, Bloom's affinity for other art forms such as painting, film, theatre and dance has both enriched her music and brought her into contact with other innovative artists such as actors Vanessa Redgrave & Joanne Woodward, painter Dan Namingha, comic Lewis Black, cartoonist Jules Feiffer, and legendary dancer/ choreographer Carmen DeLavallade. She has composed for the American Composers Orchestra (NYC), the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the Pilobolus, Paradigm, & Philadanco Dance Companies, TV movie features (Shadow of A Doubt/ NBC-TV), and film soundscores (John Sayles' Silver City) writing works for large ensemble involving her signature movement techniques. She has also collaborated with classical composers premiering new works for soprano saxophone ("Sinfonia" by Augusta Read Thomas).' Et cetera!

Jane's ensemble is Jane Ira Bloom – soprano saxophone, Dominic Fallacaro – piano, Cameron Brown – bass and Matt Wilson – drums.

Prepare to be mesmerized. This is some of the most beautiful instrumental music around. Introduce yourself, or nod a fond hello.

Jane Ira Bloom Sixteen Sunsets
December 8, 2013

Sidney Bechet pioneered the use of the soprano saxophone in jazz in the early 20s. John Coltrane brought that "straight horn" out of a relative dormancy of use in 1959 with his anthem-like take on Rodgers and Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things" on his Atlantic Records album of the same name. Steve Lacy took the soprano "out there," and Dave Liebman continues to stretch its boundaries.

The name Jane Ira Bloom can be added to that list of icons. For thirty years Bloom has used the soprano saxophone to give voice to fertile and uncompromising artistic spirit. She's broken ground on the introduction of live electronics into her music and has created a singular sound on a variety of multi-faceted projects—including a commissioned work by the NASA Art Program. And (talk about "out there") the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid for her: 6083janeirabloom.

Bloom's work in a quartet setting shines the brightest, on 2003's Chasing Paint (Arabesque Records), a nod to painter Jackson Pollock, 2008's Mental Weather (Outline), or the CD at hand, Sixteen Sunsets, an examination of the ballad form.

For such a forward-looking artist, this is something of a surprise. Bloom explores the standards here, along with four of her own standard form songs, with an extraordinary aplomb and patience. Her tone on the soprano is the purest, richest of sounds—as if her horn were made of gold; and her quartet, featuring Matt Wilson on drums, bassist Cameron Brown and pianist Dominic Fallacaro, play with a delicacy and restraint that gives the sound a feeling of depth and a subdued grandeur.

Bloom says she knows the words to all these songs: "I Loves You Porgy," "The Way You Look Tonight," "For All We Know," "Good Morning Heartache." These are tunes that dip down deep into longing, heartache, loneliness, tender love. Bloom's soprano saxophone is her voice. It's a voice that tells these song's stories with an exquisite grace and understanding of the vicissitudes of the human condition.

Bloom's backing trio rolls mostly in the mode of subtle accompaniment, but when she lays back the trio steps out with a jewel- like elegance, as pianist Fallacaro, with the supplest of touches, wrings every teardrop out of the melody of "Good Morning Heartache," or injects a hopeful counterpoint to the angst of the temptations on "I Loves You Porgy."

Sixteen Sunsets is, arguably, Jane Ira Bloom's most compelling recording. It's certainly her loveliest—no argument there. And the sound quality is out of this world. An asteroid is nice, but it seems a rather small celestial body for an artist that can create something as perfect as this disc. Perhaps a star, a bright one, can be found.

Jane Ira Bloom – 'Sixteen Sunsets'
By Jack Goodstein Blogcritics
December 24, 2013

Sixteen Sunsets, the title of the latest album from soprano saxophonist extraordinaire Jane Ira Bloom, takes its title from astronaut Joseph Allen's description of the different brilliant colors of the sunsets on view while in orbit in space. As quoted in the liner notes, Allen says "You see at least eight bands of color come and go, from a brilliant red to the brightest and deepest blue. And you see sixteen sunrises and sixteen sunsets every day you're in space. No sunrise or sunset is ever the same." What better metaphor for the brilliant variety of tones and colors that define the work of a fine jazz ensemble? What better way to characterize the music Jane Ira Bloom and her quartet?

Working on a somewhat unusual program filled entirely with ballads, Bloom and company, (Dominic Fallacaro on piano, Cameron Brown on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums) flesh out the full palate of colors brilliant, bright and deep. The album's 14 tracks include nine classic tunes and six original compositions—one track is a medley of an original, "Gershwin's Skyline," and the Gershwin aria "I Loves You Porgy." It is a repertoire that gives Bloom a real opportunity to tap into the intimacies latent in her instrument, yet so often ignored. Her lyrical artistry is a revelation. She takes standards like "For All We Know," "Darn That Dream," "But Not For Me," and "The Way You Look Tonight," songs that have become so much a part of our musical psyche, that for some they might seem stale, and breathes life into them. As each sunset is both a repetition and a revelation, so too are these songs. You've heard them before, but not quite the way you're hearing them now. Whether the stripped down version of Kurt Weill's "My Ship" or the otherworldly "Out of This World," this is the work of a true artist. The original pieces include the elegant "Ice Dancing (for Torvil & Dean)" the rhythmically playful "Primary Colors," and the densely evocative "Bird Experiencing Light," with all the implications suggested by the title. This last makes for a fitting conclusion to a fine jazz album. While I have only heard the stereo CD of Sixteen Sunsets from Outline Records, it should be noted the album has also been released in 5.1 high resolution surround sound on Pure Audio Blu-ray. This disc has been nominated for a 2014 GRAMMY as Best Surround Sound Album.

What critics are saying about Wingwalker...

"There is not a dull or cliche moment...Wingwalker proves, once again, why Jane Ira Bloom is one of the most original and creative saxophonists in jazz today."
-Wilbert Sostre, All About Jazz

"4 and a half stars" All Music Guide
"A captivating work"

- Ken Dryden

"Wingwalker with its positive energy and inspired ensemble connections, proves to be one of the best recordings to surface at the dawn of 2011."
- Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

Editors Pick Downbeat Magazine Feb 2011.
- Ed Enright

"4 stars" Downbeat Magazine "A premier soprano player"
- Eric Fine

"There is something new and exciting on each track, like hang gliding through the universe. An album overflowing with imagination...a candidate for record of the year, and possibly a Grammy nomination."
- Don Albert, Newstime

5 stars "There are few jazz recordings released in the recent past that measure up to the originality and creativity as WINGWALKER."
-Grady Harp,

"The poet of the soprano saxophone continues to make music that is both challenging to the ear and comforting to the soul."
-Brian Priestley, JazzWise

"Bloom never wastes a note; she's to-the-point, but still poetic and spontaneous. Her improvisations have those qualities of inevitability and surprise that mark the best jazz solos."
- Ed Hazel, Point of Departure

"intense lyricism, striking melodies, subtle electronics and a rock-solid band."
-Steve Smith, Time Out NY

"Her horn really is a thing of beauty Bloom soars, applying a distinctive instrumental voice to compositions that are unpredictable, challenging, and inviting."
-Philip Booth, JazzTimes

"The breadth and allure of Jane Ira Bloom's music seems to grow with every release. Wingwalker is a fine showcase of her soprano saxophone mastery but also her compositional and bandleading wiles."
-David R. Adler, NYC Jazz Record

"Among sopranos today she is in the very select few that qualify as original masters."
-Greg Edwards/ Gapplegate music review

"All things mysterious and beautiful... a magnificent album."
-Raul d'Gama Rose/ All About Jazz

"One of the best saxophone players in jazz is at the peak of her creativity."
-Will Layman/ Pop Matters

"Simply, this is one of the most beautiful collections of modern music I've heard."
-Andrea Carter/ Jazz Police

"Either lighter than air, or gushing forward with the thrust of a fighter jet, Wingwalker surges as a gleaming entry into the artist's impressive discography."
-Glenn Astarita/

"I always imagine Jane Ira Bloom dancing...confidently poised on the brink of the jazz tradition."
-Brian Morton, Jazz Journal

"With the greatest of ease... she stretches further than before and comes up with a winner. One of the finest soprano saxophonists of our time."
-Rob Johnson, Denver Examiner

Jane Ira Bloom / Outline

By Wilbert Sostre

"There is not a dull or cliche moment on Jane Ira Bloom 14th album, Wingwalker. Her sound has been described as futuristic and certainly there is some of that futuristic sound on tracks like "Frontiers in Space" and " Live Sports." But most of all, Jane Ira Bloom is a master composer and musician with a truly unique sound. All compositions on Wingwalker are by Jane Ira Bloom except "I Could Have Danced all Night"

Even though there are brilliant moments of improvisations all over the album; the emphasis on Wingwalker is in the beauty of Jane Ira Bloom compositions. Each composition have plenty of harmonic surprises, syncopations, tempo changes and richly, inventive solos by Dawn Clement on piano and Jane Ira Bloom on soprano saxophone. Mark Helias on bass and Bobby Previte on drums provide an excellent rhythm background to Jane Ira Bloom melodies and both of them swing hard on "Airspace," "Life on Cloud 8" and "Rookie."

Jane Ira Bloom always plays with the conviction and energy of a seasoned musician but her tone can also be warm and welcoming, like in the almost lullaby track "Her Exacting Light," the ballads "Adjusting to Midnight," "Wingwalker" and the sax solo piece "I Could Have Danced All Night." The effective use of dissonance and space, and even Dawn Clement piano improvisations and chords on "Freud's Convertible," "Frontiers in Science" and "Rookie" echo the sound of the great Thelonious Monk.

Wingwalker proves, once again, why Jane Ira Bloom is one of the most original and creative saxophonists in jazz today."

All material copyright 2011 All About Jazz and contributing writers.
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Jane Ira Bloom (Outline)
by David R. Adler

"The breadth and allure of Jane Ira Bloom's music seems to grow with every release. Wingwalker is a fine showcase of her soprano saxophone mastery but also her compositional and bandleading wiles. Part of the secret is her pianist, Dawn Clement, who makes her second recorded appearance with Bloom since 2008's Mental Weather. She brings a tight but flexible swing to the date and functions like a small orchestra, reacting with highly attuned ears to bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte (both longtime Bloom allies).

And yet Bloom is upfront, with a warm, balanced tone and usual electronic enhancements - harmonizers, echoes, etc. - lending yet more individuality to her sound. Her writing is fresh and involved: even on pieces lasting just six minutes or less, such as "Life on Cloud 8" and "Freud's Convertible", she creates multipart structures involving stark rhythmic shifts, pushing her quartet to the fullest.

"Airspace" and "Frontiers in Science" feature beautifully executed unison playing, wide-open harmony and driving, deeply felt rhythm (swing and straight-eighth, respectively). "Ending Red Songs" and "Adjusting to Midnight", both trio sketches without drums, share a dark and plaintive, Shorter-esque quality while the title track, a a rubato piece for quartet, recalls the ethereal yet unsettled world of Paul Motian.

As much as Bloom thrives in mellower, pastoral settings, Wingwalker has its gritty blues and even rock- like elements. The magnificent "Rooftops Speak Dreams" finds Previte digging into a simple beat as Clement splashes dense chords at endless contrasting angles. "Live Sports" is funky and hi-hat-driven, with a looped bassline and hiccupping figures built into the form. His swing is unassailable on the medium-bright "Rookie", which reminds us that for all the countless hues in Bloom's tonal palette, we're listening to a jazz artist, pure and simple."

5.0 out of 5 stars
The Romantic Creativity of Jane Ira Bloom, January 14, 2011
By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)

This review is from: Wingwalker (MP3 Download)
"There are few jazz recordings released in the recent past that measure up to the originality and creativity as WINGWALKER. Strong words of praise? Yes, but spend time with simply a couple of tracks from this astonishingly well performed and equally superb recording technique (Jim Anderson and Akihiro Nishimura need to be credited) and the praise is bound to be understood.

Jane Ira Bloom is the "star" soprano saxophone ("& live electronics") here and she is gifted. Not only has she technically master her instrument as well as any classical musician of this instrument, but she also adds the glamour of knowing how to make the sax sound like a human voice singing from the heart. She is simply amazing. The CD combines her own very excellent compositions (especially "Ending Red Songs", "Her Exacting Light" and the title song) with a solo spin on a tune from "My Fair Lady" - an apropos metaphor - showing us just how far her creativity can carry "I could have danced all night"! Mesmerizing.

Bloom works with first-rate musicians - Dawn Clement, piano (both regular and Fender Rhodes), Mark Helias, bass, and Bobby Previte, drums: listen to their perfect unison and phrasing on 'Airspace' opening! Many of Blooms compositions are so complex and well written they could easily be programmed on classical contemporary music programs. Bloom's resume reads like an outline of how extensive one musician's influence can go; she is far more than just an accomplished musician and composer - she has enhanced the fields of film, dance, teaching, lecturing, and improving the status of mankind! This is one fine album (in every way) brought to us by a truly exemplary human being. "

Grady Harp, January 11, 2011.

MARCH 2011
The UK's biggest selling jazz magazine

Jane Ira Bloom
Outline OTL 140

"The poet of the soprano saxophone continues to make music that is both challenging to the ear and comforting to the soul. It says much for her expertise that, even with stellar accompanists such as Helias and Previte and a highly promising contribution from relative newcomer Clement, the main impression left is of her compositions and her sound. (It may be cheating a bit to conclude the programmme with a solo ballad rendition of "I Could Have Danced All Night," but it seems all of a piece with the otherwise original material.) The programme is fully tonal and consistently rhythmic, and allows space for both Clement and Helias here and there, while Previte just plays the ultra-sensitive accompanist throughout. What's ultimately impressive about Bloom's own solo work is not only the highly individual tone but, even with her discreet real-time manipulation of the soprano lines, she has travelled far beyond the idea of doing anything for mere effect – it's all about getting through to the listener."

-Brian Priestley

Issue 33 - February 2011 Moment's Notice Reviews of Recent Recordings
Jane Ira Bloom Quartet
Outline OTL140
"Soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom just seems to do everything well. She's a concise soloist with impressive control of a horn that's notoriously difficult to control. For years, she's used live electronics to expand her improvising vocabulary with tremendous success. And she consistently assembles creative, sympathetic bands that swing like mad. All these virtues are present on the second recording by her quartet featuring pianist Dawn Clement, bassist Mark Helias, and longtime drummer of choice Bobby Previte. As a soloist, Bloom never wastes a note; she's to-the-point, but still poetic and spontaneous. Her improvisations on "Her Exacting Light" and "Freud's Convertible" have those qualities of inevitability and surprise that mark the best jazz solos, with finely crafted melodies graced by occasional embellishments, and terminal notes of phrases infected and colored to add nuances of feeling. Her use of electronics might be considered gimmicky, if it wasn't done with such unfailingly musical results. One is reminded of the way Rahsaan Roland Kirk transformed the novelty of playing three horns at once into a robust part of his vocabulary. Bloom uses electronics to add little swipes of color and texture, couple notes into chords, or create delays and echoes that turn riffs into call-and-response with her own playing. Bloom also has a sure sense of what she wants in a rhythm section and writes compositions and picks tempos that put them in the best possible light. Helias and Previte simply eat up the comfy medium tempos, laying down ridiculously swinging relaxed grooves. Clement comps as if she were working with a singer, lending support and harmonic interest while paying attention to dynamics and the beat. When she solos, she strikes each note firmly so it has presence and weight and on "Airspace" she makes heavy notes in her right hand dance and fly while jabbed left hand chords nip at their heels. Albums like this have long made Bloom a critics' favorite."

-Ed Hazel
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