Over a 40-year career, Jane Ira Bloom has established herself as one of the preeminent soprano saxophone players of the era. Early Americans, her latest release and 16th album as a leader, simply reinforces that idea. Her first time leading a trio, the recordings allow for tight interaction between three musicians who have become comfortable with each other (particularly true of “Singing the Triangle”).
Bloom’s rich tone and high energy levels drive the melodic album through a series of moods and styles. There’s trad jazz, some world influences, and even some funk as the group gets happy, worried, and pensive without losing its flow. The real discovery here, though, is drummer Bobby Previte, who tends not to take over, but who displays an intelligent creativity that guides the album.