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July/August 2005

Jane Ira Bloom
Like Silver, Like Song
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Long an exponent of electronics, soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has produced yet another imaginative program, this one consisting of her own compositions (plus one standard) that combine jazz or jazz-derived components with other constituents, including an assortment of electronic sounds. She frequently enhances her saxophone with live electronic techniques, while keyboardist Jamie Saft and Bloom's longtime drummer Bobby Previte double on electronics and electronic drums, respectively. Only bassist Mark Dresser, another veteran associate, plays an acoustic instrument exclusively.
The 14 tracks flow seamlessly and range in duration from the two-and-a-half-minute "Altair 4," which consists entirely of an interesting assemblage of ethereal electronically generated sounds, to the approximately nine-minute "Vanishing Hat," which provides a jaunty two-beat feel for Bloom's swinging improvisations and for other ensemble explorations. One of the recording's more orthodox offerings, Richard Rodgers' "I Have Dreamed," features Bloom's pure soprano sound on a tender, rubato reading of the melody, unaccompanied prior to Dresser's entrance.

Bloom and her associates perform her thoughtful music with obvious empathy and consummate skill. The result is both captivating and refreshing.

Originally published in July/August 2005
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