Available November 18, 2016
A note from Jane Ira Bloom
Surround-sound was a natural step for me because I think I always thought that way as a musician to start with. I’ve always been interested in how sound changes when it moves. I move when I play the saxophone and visualize arcing sound in the air like a sculptor. Improvising with jazz musicians is a 3-D experience for me. Whether imagining music inspired by the zero gravity environment of space or the motion-filled brush strokes of Jackson Pollock, sound moves for me. So when my long-time engineer and co-producer Jim Anderson suggested that we record in surround, I was so on board with the idea. Our first surround project in 2013 was “Sixteen Sunsets” a spare all-ballads project for jazz quartet. “Early Americans” (2015) presented a very different kinetic energy with the spontaneous rhythmic drive of a sax, bass, drum jazz trio.
I’m very intuitive in my approach to recorded sound & expression and was so fortunate to have met an engineer like Jim Anderson back in 1992 when I first recorded “Art & Aviation” for Arabesque Records. He is a consummate audio artist in that he’s able to bring all his technical and musical knowledge to the task of translating a musician’s intentions and creating a sound. He has enormous engineering skill at his command that he uses in the service of a “feeling sound.” Jim’s as serious about capturing and communicating music as I am making it and together I think we make a good creative team.
Concepts that were on our mind when we went into the surround recording;
-How to capture the force of sound moving through a jazz trio
-How to capture the expansive range and deeply personal qualities of the individual players
-How to retain the warmth of the acoustic instruments while also giving reign to the rhythmic drive and power of the trio
We wanted all of that to come through the surround picture. The soprano saxophone is ideally suited to capture in surround too. If you think about it the sound of the instrument is less focused on projection from the bell and emanating from keys on all sides of the horn up and down the length of the instrument. It pretty much breathes in 360.
From my point of view as a musician, I can tell you that surround-sound is a completely addictive listening experience. Once you hear it you never want to go back to stereo. It’s so immersive – like hearing your outsides in and your insides out. The ensemble and its sound are both surrounding your ears and also emanating from a body center. It’s “hyper real” and just so seductive - a spectacular sensory experience. I get chills just thinking about it. —Jane Ira Bloom
You never know what American original soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is going to do next. After the success of her GRAMMY® Nominated 2014 all-ballads release Sixteen Sunsets Bloom shifts into another gear showcasing the kinetic energy of her acclaimed trio playing with the musicians that she knows best on Early Americans. It’s her first trio album, sixteenth as leader and sixth recording on the Outline label. Her sound is like no other on the straight horn and she lets it fly on every track. She’s joined by long-time bandmates Mark
Helias on bass & drummer Bobby Previte and with over fifty years of shared musical history together the album is sure to be a winner. Bloom’s collaboration with Helias dates back to the mid 70’s in New Haven CT and her unique chemistry with Previte has been ongoing since 2000. She brought the group together in summer 2015 to Avatar Studio B in NYC to capture their breathtaking sound in both stereo and surround-sound with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features twelve Bloom originals ranging from the rhythmic drive of “Song Patrol” and “Singing The Triangle” to the spare melancholy of “Mind Gray River.” She closes the album with a signature solo rendition of the American songbook classic, Bernstein & Sondheim’s ”Somewhere.” Worldrenowned portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe contributes a stunning cover image of Bloom. “Playing in threes” has always held a special fascination for jazz artists - it offers the possibility that something can be slightly off balance and that’s just what fires the imagination of players like Bloom, Helias, & Previte. With Early Americans Jane Ira Bloom stands in the vanguard of her generation carving out new territory in the heart of the jazz tradition. Don’t miss this trio of “fearless jazz explorers who share a commitment to beauty & adventure.”
Soaring, poetic, quick silver, spontaneous and instantly identifiable are words used to describe the soprano sound of saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. She’s been steadfastly developing her singular voice on the straight horn for 35 years creating a body of music that marks her as an American original. She’s an nine-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association Award for soprano sax, the Downbeat International Critics Poll, and the Charlie Parker Award for Jazz Innovation and has collaborated with such outstanding jazz artists as Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester, Mark Dresser, Jerry Granelli, Matt Wilson, Billy Hart and Fred Hersch. Her 2014 all-ballads release Sixteen Sunsets was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for surround-sound. In addition she’s garnered numerous awards for her creativity including a Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition and the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Award for lifetime service to jazz. JIB was the first musician commissioned by the NASA Art Program and was honored to have an asteroid named in her honor by the International Astronomical Union (asteroid 6083janeirabloom).
A strong visual thinker, Bloom's affinity for other art forms has both enriched her music and led to collaborations with other innovative artists such as actors Vanessa Redgrave & Joanne Woodward, painter Dan Namingha, cartoonist Jules Feiffer, director John Sayles and legendary dancer/ choreographer Carmen DeLavallade. Her long-standing interest in space exploration and neuroscience has lead to cutting edge recording projects inspired by outer and inner space. Performance venues include Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Dizzy’s Club Jazz @ Lincoln Center, St. John the Divine Cathedral and the Einstein Planetarium in Washington DC. She has composed several works commissioned through the Chamber Music America/ Doris Duke New Jazz Works Program including Chasing Paint, a series of compositions inspired by painter Jackson Pollock, Mental Weather, a suite of neuroscience inspired pieces, and recently Wild Lines, a jazz reimagining of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
JIB has recorded and produced 16 album projects since 1977 for CBS, Arabesque, ENJA, Pure Audio and Artistshare Records, and founded her own record label (Outline Records). A professor at the New School for Jazz in New York City, she holds degrees from Yale University and the Yale School of Music.
1. Song Patrol
2. Dangerous Times
3. Nearly (For Kenny Wheeler)
4. Hips & Sticks
5. Singing the Triangle
6. Other Eyes
7. Rhyme or Rhythm
8. Mind Gray Matter
9. Cornets of Paradise
10. Say More
11. Gateway to Progress
12. Big Bill