Bloom, Jane Ira - Wild Lines

Kev Rowland, Bloom, Jane Ira - Wild Lines

The full title of this double CD set is ‘Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson’, and features Jane Ira Bloom (soprano saxophone), Dawn Clement (piano), Mark Helias (bass) and Bobby Previte (drums). This release showcases her jazz quartet’s interpretation of Dickinson’s poetry and includes a second version for jazz quartet and spoken word featuring readings by popular stage and film actor Deborah Rush, so one CD is music and the other is music and poetry. Jane wrote the album when she was awarded a 2015 CMA/ Doris Duke New Jazz Works commission.

She was inspired to musically reimagine Dickinson when she learned that the poet was a pianist and improviser herself, reconfirming what she’d always felt in the jazz-like quality of Dickinson’s phrasing. “I didn’t always understand her but I always felt Emily’s use of words mirrored the way a jazz musician uses notes.” The premiere at the poet’s home was followed by performances at the Kennedy Center and the NYPL for the Performing Arts, after which the recording took place with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features fourteen Bloom originals inspired by fragments of Dickinson poetry and prose mined from both her collected works and envelope poems “The Gorgeous Nothings.” The album closes with a solo rendition of an American classic, Rodgers & Hart’s “It’s Easy to Remember.”

This is an album where all musicians have faith, trust and understanding of each other that only comes from playing together for many hours, and knowing that everyone involved is a superb musician. Jane’s tone is amazingly warm and controlled, as she knows that there is no need for histrionics or shrieks in this style of jazz. The bass adds to this warmth, with a deep and wonderful dark timbre, so the feeling throughout is of jazz that is inviting as opposed to challenging. A beautiful album.

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