Sometimes the Magic is soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom's tenth album as a leader. The album features nine original compositions and two standards. Bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Bobby Previte are long time collaborators of Ms. Bloom's, while pianist Vincent Bourgeyx is a new addition to the group. The group tuned up for a week of shows at Sweet Basil in New York prior to recording and they sound as tight as is possible given the highly improvisational nature of the music they are playing.
Steve Lacy is probably the obvious reference point for an avant-garde soprano saxophone player, and Miles Davis is probably the same for Bloom's use of electronics on her instrument. That said, her playing reminds me tonally of Ornette Coleman's playing on recent albums like Tone Dialing and Colors, and the interplay between Bloom and Previte towards the resolution of "Many Landscapes" brings to mind some of the great recordings of Sam Rivers and Barry Atschull. (for her part, Ms. Bloom cites the influence of visual artists like Jackson Pollock as well) Bourgeyx only appears on the first half of the recording but provides a welcome presence on the tracks on which he appears.
In short, this album is highly recommended. Fans of avant-garde jazz will enjoy this latest offering from Jane Ira Bloom.