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Jane ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets

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Jane Ira Bloom has always been a lyrical player, but on her first ballads collection, stripped of technical enhancements, this elite soprano saxophonist reveals new depths. Leading a quartet including Dominic Fallacaro, a young pianist with a nice light touch, she commands a double album’s worth of the slow stuff, rarely raising her voice or taking a predictable path.

Moving seamlessly between standards and originals, Sixteen Sunsets unfolds with a luminous intensity. It’s difficult to recall a more powerfully contained reading of “I Loves You, Porgy.” Framed by Bloom’s “Gershwin’s Skyline” and treated to just the right amount of blues expression, the classic radiates dignity in the face of sorrow. Bloom’s slow, calmly reflective reading of “The Way You Look Tonight” hits you in a way it rarely does, stripped of sentimentality.

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