|Jane Ira Bloom's fascination with slow beauty, tone colour, and inner/outer space, absolutely shines throughout this CD of nine tracks which, in her typically literate way, she's entitled, Mental Weather.
In Track One, the slow ballad, "A More Beautiful Question", Bloom's soprano takes us inside, where pianist Clement is tenderly coloristic, Mark Helias' bass pulses in all the right places, and only on the last cymbal ting!, which ends the tune, does Matt Wilson really play in fact, in many parts of this CD, Wilson assumes the strict minimalist role of a percussionist rather than an active jazz drummer.
The title tune, "Mental Weather", with its boppish roots and a hard-hitting drum groove, combines with the surprising entrance of electronic left-to-right pans of Bloom's soprano (these soprano pans are equally effective in "Multiple Choice"). Eventually, a brisk drums and bass duet, in which the bass is a vigorous heartbeat, takes the tune out.
After a mood-setting piano introduction to "Cello on the Inside", Bloom's essential Getz-like melodicism is revealed in her melody-based, upper register sweeps and grainy extensions. Wilson punctuates rather than leads as we hear the peaceful-sad, inner jazz cry of Bloom enter into a 3-way conversation.
Bloom writes and plays clearly constructed, and varied, modal tunes. Modal tunes which represent her interest in composition and atmospheric emotional tone.
But, more importantly, there's that clear mark of individuality in the case of Bloom, a mysterious sheen that glows from inside her deep space music.
by David Fujino December 2008