Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Blum, John, pianist, composer; b. New York City, NY, 15 April 1968.His father is Harold Blum, b-1927, Jersey City, N.J. His mother is Jane Blum, b-1940, NYC. His siblings are Daniel Blum b-1966 NYC and Jennifer Blum b-1972 NYC. While an undergraduate at Bennington College from 1987-1991 Blum studied with Bill Dixon and Milford Graves, and performed regularly in a quartet with Marco Eneidi (alto saxophone), Jackson Krall (drums), and Chris Ferris (bass). After college he continued his musical studies with pianists Borah Bergman and Cecil Taylor. In 1992, while in Europe, he worked with Han Bennink, Antonio Grippi, Tristan Honsinger, and Tony Scott.
Upon returning to New York City, Blum became a member of the Improvisers Collective (1993-1995) and also initiated projects as a soloist, a group leader, and collaborative works with other musicians-including Rashid Bakr (drums), Roy Campbell (trumpet),and Daniel Carter (saxophone). He led a large ensemble in 1995 with Karen Borca (bassoon), Joe Daley (tuba), Jackson Krall (drums), Alex Lodico (trombone), Raphe Malik (trumpet), Sabir Mateen (tenor saxophone) and Dan O'Brien (bass). This group played at the first Vision Festival in 1996 and was later featured at Roulette in 1997. Along with his solo and group projects in 1996, he also worked with the Cecil Taylor Orchestra and performed piano duets with Cooper-Moore at the Whitney Museum.
By early 1998 he joined together with Antonio Grippi on alto saxophone, William Parker on bass, and Denis Charles on drums to form Astrogeny, for a series of performances. In another project, Blum worked with members of his former ensemble, Joe Daly and Jackson Krall, in a trio format. This trio also played at the 1999 Vision Festival.
During 1999 Blum performed in a quartet with Jemeel Moondoc on alto saxophone, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and William Parker or Sirone on bass. That year he received a compositional grant from the Jerome Foundation which financed the performance of two ensemble pieces - featuring Karen Borca on bassoon, Jemeel Moondoc on alto sax, and Randy Peterson on drums.
Blum was pianist for the Bill Dixon Ensemble when they premiered Dixon's commissioned piece, "Index" at the Vision Festival in 2000. At the following year's Vision Festival (2001), he performed as a soloist. Throughout 2000-2001 Blum played in a trio with Mat Maneri, viola, and Michael Wimberly. Currently, Blum was at work on several collaborative projects in 2002- including a trio formed in 1993, with Sabir Mateen, tenor saxophone, and Jackson Krall, drums. This trio was featured at the Vision festival on June 1, 2002. In 2003, Blum is currently performing with his trio- Mat Maneri on Viola, and Gerald Cleaver on Drums.
Recordings, Broadcasts, and Films:
Naked Mirror, (2001); Conduction 117, (2001); Sunny Murray Quartet: Top Dogs Boogie (2003); Radio broadcasts: 1990: Brandeis University (MA): live performance- Marco Eneidi (sax), Jackson Krall (drums), Christopher Ferris (bass); 1995: WKCR (NYC): Interview and tapes of selected performances; 996: WBAI (NYC): live performance-Duet with Peter Kobalt (Bass); 1999: WKCR (NYC): Interview and tapes of selected performances; Documentary Film (2000)- "Denis Charles-An Interrupted Conversation": appears with Astrogeny Quartet (Antonio Grippi (sax),Willaim Parker (bass), Denis Charles(drums).