One of the preeminent soprano saxophonists in modern jazz, Jane Ira Bloom possesses more than just technique. Few jazz artists are able to project a distinct or personalized sound. For example, most ardent jazz aficionados would be able to identify her in a Downbeat magazine style blindfold test. Once again, Bloom imparts memorable compositions, underscored with sinuous developments and a prevalent sense of intrigue.
Adventurous expressionism is a key factor within semi-structured or avant jazz-based endeavors. With their second quartet outing for Intakt Records, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman cover a gamut of articulately designed modes of interaction. Introspective, sublime and occasionally foreboding, the quartet engineers a potpourri of delicacies, all executed with a deterministic modality.
The album title may not intimate that there are quite a few intricacies going on under-the-hood. Essentially, venerable jazz guitarist Bruce Arnold reformulates and reengineers customary time signatures with manipulations of standard blues forms. However, from a sky-view, it's an album that is nestled within progressive-jazz stylizations. But Arnold's numerous slants and acute rhythmic permutations generate an irrefutable contrast to the norm.
It's a bold endeavor to believe you can invoke freshness and vitality into thinly worn standards like "Body and Soul," "All the Things You Are" and "My Funny Valentine." Trumpeter Cuong Vu meets the challenge head-on with imaginative results on Leaps of Faith, a quartet outing with wide-open improvisatory exploration, melding consonant lyricism with chaotic tumult.