Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Demanding times require new solutions and for soprano player Bloom and bassist Helias that meant duetting by the internet when their worlds were in separate lockdown.
Not that you know of the physical separation from the evidence of the 11 pieces here.
In the past Bloom has created conceptual albums but here with Helias with whom she has played off and on since the late 2000s, we are in the world of pure, thoughtful improvisation.
An immediate standout is Magic Carpet which by turns (in Bloom's hands) is airy and free-flying but also grounded (through Helias' arco playing and the low drone he creates beneath her).
Bloom gets airborne again for the lovely Willing which has a blues tinge in places and on Roughing It they locate a lovely, romantic melody which they extend and reconfigure over more than nine minutes.
Drift is a more moody piece with evocations of shakuhachi in Bloom's playing and further superb arco work by Helias.
With no outline beyond simply playing together – albeit at a distance – these pieces are further confirmation that in the hands of the best, as these people are, pure improvisation is a rare art form which comes from the soul through the head and hands in an instant.
You can hear and buy this album from bandcamp here.