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Music Review

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Some Kind of Tomorrow


Artist: Jane Ira Bloom and Mark Helias
Label: Jane Ira Bloom and Mark Helias
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 January 2021

Soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and bassist Mark Helias come together to create duets discovered in the moment in a way that is rarely heard today with Some Kind of Tomorrow. The long time bandmates, separated by space and time find a way to play in real time with one another...

If you're the sort of jazz fan who enjoys self-indulgent freeform "noise", then you'll be able to fill your boots with what Jane Ira Bloom and Mark Helias deliver on Some Kind of Tomorrow.

I get the idea and how this is performance art rather than music to be enjoyed. Two performers both improvising, trying to create something beautiful out of thin air... But it's just not very enjoyable to listen to.

It's time to play avant-garde jazz bingo. Eyes down for a full house! Scratchy strings (check); Random fingering (check), Blowing too hard (check); the sound of instruments played by drunks who have never picked up an instrument before (check); Pieces that go nowhere and then, weakly, just end (HOUSE!)

They're both accomplished musicians, but what they deliver here is nothing short of painful... and very, very dull. If you have your head up your arse you'll love it.

Perhaps the most telling indication of what you're in for comes from the press information: "We didn’t have to write anything. We didn’t have to plan anything. We didn’t even have to talk. We just had to play - to connect with each other across a distance in whatever way we could because we had to. It was just too hard to be a sound alone. A sound needed another sound - and so Mark and I began."


Nick Smithson