Jane Ira Bloom: Nearly Summertime/Summertime


Nearly Summertime/Summertime


Jane Ira Bloom (soprano sax)


The Nearness (Arabesque 120)

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Jane Ira Bloom (soprano sax),

Kenny Wheeler (trumpet & flugelhorn), Julian Priester (trombone), Fred Hersch (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Bobby Previte (drums)


“Nearly Summertime” composed by Jane Ira Bloom; “Summertime” composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward, and arranged by Jane Ira Bloom


Recorded: New York, July 12-14, 1995


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Recorded during a summer in New York City, Jane Ira Bloom's version of "Summertime" is quite evocative of the season, and a brilliant example of the saxophonist's approach to standards. The recording opens with Jane's angular composition "Nearly Summertime" played in unison by saxophone and trumpet. Next the rhythm section enters with drum color, a bass solo and a piano vamp in dotted quarter notes (2 notes over 3 beats) that presages what will come later. Gradually, Werner, Priester and Bloom join into the ensemble before Bloom launches an ascending scale to introduce the Gershwin melody, set in 6/4 time. Behind the melody, the horns play long, hypnotic chords at half the speed of the piano vamp, and when Bloom takes over for her solo she leads with another ascending scale based on the same rhythmic pattern. Her sound grows more impassioned as she climbs higher in register, and as the performance grows in intensity you can almost feel the heat generating from the ground. The intensity doesn't let up until the end of the theme, when the horns suddenly dissipate and Hersch plays a rippling triplet figure that might signal a much-needed summer rainstorm.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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