barabara sounds sez:
More fine music from the neglected and mostly OOP enja catalog. Jane Ira Bloom plays soprano sax, one of the few who do, and she produces some good sounds with it. In more recent years she has used live electronics in her sets, but this 1982 joint is strictly mainstream. She has some top musicians alongside her here — Fred Hersch on piano; Charlie Haden on bass; and Ed Blackwell on drums — and this swings nicely.
Two things worthy of note about Jane Ira Bloom: she was the first musician to be commissioned by the NASA Art Program — though I haven't heard any of her three musical compositions. She also has an asteroid named after her.
More here on her site...
This was, in a way, Jane Ira Bloom's debut, in that it was the first of her albums to be put out by a label she did not herself own -- her first two records were self-produced. Even at such an early stage in her development one can hear the attention to craft that would always characterize her work, though her skills at this point were not what they would later become. Bloom's control over the horn was occasionally dubious, but she evidenced an attractive tone and a coherent (if a bit immature and self-conscious) manner of phrasing. Her tunes were already quite sophisticated and distinctive, pointing to the even more ambitious composer into which she evolved. On the other hand, her band for this album will probably not be excelled for the rest of her career. Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell are pretty heavy company for such a callow young musician to be keeping, and pianist Fred Hersch is certainly no slouch. Obviously, the rhythm section's work raises this music to a higher plane than it would have reached had not Bloom the wherewithal to engage the services of these gentlemen.