Thursday, February 27, 2014
Blu-ray Audio of the Month - "Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets"
Jane Ira Bloom: "Sixteen Sunsets" (Pure Audio Records/Outline)
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Highlights: "For All We Know," "What She Wanted," "Darn That Dream," "Left Alone," "But Not For Me," "Primary Colors" and "Bird Experiencing Light."
2.0 Stereo (LPCM) and 5.1 Surround Sound (DTS HD MA)
This is a Blu-ray disc, which plays on every Blu-ray player
Includes m-shuttle technology for CD & mp3 files to copy on computer & mobile devises
Produced by Jane Ira Bloom & Jim Anderson
Recorded (May 20, June 12 & 17, 2013) and Mixed @ Avatar Studios (New York, NY) by Jim Anderson
Featuring: Jane Ira Bloom (soprano sax), Dominic Fallacaro (acoustic piano), Cameron Brown (acoustic bass) & Matt Wilson (drums)
Award winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has always had a special feeling for ballad performances. So much so that she has now finally released: "Sixteen Sunsets," a beautiful new recording featuring expressive interpretations from the American Songbook along with five compelling slow tempo original compositions.
The fourteen tracks on "Sixteen Sunsets" feature nine American songbook classics including: Gershwin's ''I Loves You Porgy,'' Kern's ''The Way You Look Tonight,'' Arlen's ''Out of This World,'' Weill's ''My Ship,'' Jimmy Van Heusen's ''Darn That Dream,'' and Billie Holiday & Mal Waldron's ''Left Alone,'' among others. There are also five originals from Bloom s ballad repertoire including: ''What She Wanted,'' ''Ice Dancing'' (for Torvill & Dean), ''Gershwin's Skyline,'' ''Too Many Reasons,'' and ''Bird Experiencing Light.''
Photographic legend Jay Maisel contributed his breathtaking image: ''Maine Forest At Dawn'' for the album cover art. He picked the image from his archives after listening to the CD and the synchronicity is startling.
The album was recorded in 5.1 high-resolution Surround Sound at New York's famed Avatar Studio B by renowned engineer Jim Anderson who also co-produced and pushed the envelope of how a jazz quartet could sound using this technique. JIB felt that 'Surround' was a perfect match for the soprano sax because the sound doesn't emanate directly from the bell of the horn, it radiates out in all directions from the instrument in a more diffuse way.
The saxophone was literally surrounded by a satellite array of mics for the sessions, and JIB's playing style was very well suited to the technique since she is always moving when playing. She recalls: ''I've always been interested how sound changes when it moves and the doppler-like effect that I create when I sweep the bell of the horn past the microphones really comes through vividly in surround-sound.'' Sixteen Sunsets was nominated for a 2014 Grammy sound surround category.
''An artist beyond category,'' according to veteran critic Nat Hentoff," Jane Ira Bloom has been developing her unique voice on the soprano sax for over 30 years. A pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz, she is a six-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Award for Soprano Saxophone, winner of the DownBeat International Critics Poll for soprano sax, and a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship. Her continued commitment to new music has led to collaborations with Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Kenny Wheeler, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson, Bob Brookmeyer, Julian Priester, Ingrid Jenson, Bobby Previte, Billy Hart, Mark Helias, Marc Copland and Fred Hersch among others.
''It took a while to get my voice to come through the soprano saxophone, and after all these years I feel like the instrument has really become my voice. I hope when people hear the sax on the new recording they can almost touch the sound, feel the attack, the decay, hear fingers gliding across the keys and get a sense that a voice is coming through,'' she says.