01.21.17Mara Rosenbloom Featured in the New York Times!
"Mara Rosenbloom, piano as a remedy and a force in jazz"
01.01.17PRAIRIE BURN RECEIVES 4.5 STARS FROM DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE!
12.07.16"One of the Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Year" - Lucid Culture / New York Music Daily
10.12.16Confronting the Improvised Moment: Interview with the Jazz Gallery, NYC
10.01.16PRAIRIE BURN REVIEW : ZEAL NYC
07.24.15Downtown Music Gallery is now carrying my records! Two belated but stellar reviews just in!
Bruce Lee Gallanter of Downtown Music Gallery writes:
Last week I caught an amazing trio set at I-Beam in Brooklyn featuring Mara Rosenbloom on piano, Guillermo Gregorio on clarinet and Ken Filiano on bass. I've caught Ms. Rosenbloom a few times over the past few months and am most impressed by her playing. She seemed to inspire Mr. Gregorio to play more inside than he usually plays. Both sets that night were magical and Ms. Rosenbloom just left us with two of her discs as a leader:
MARA ROSENBLOOM QUARTET
[With DARIUS JONES/ISAAC JAFFE/NICK ANDERSON] -
School of Fish (Self-released; USA) Featuring Mara Rosenbloom on piano & compositions, Darius Jones on alto sax, Isaac Jaffe on bass and Nick Anderson on drums. I don't recognize the names of either rhythm section
folks here although I see that Mr. Anderson is on a CD from Nicolas Letman
that I reviewed from the past few years. Alto saxist & composer Darius
Jones consistently surprises us with each of his dozen discs as a leader or
collaborator. His playing & composing is diverse, dynamic and demanding.
"School of Fish" was self-produced by Ms. Rosenbloom and was released in
2009. She wrote and arranged all six songs as well. Commencing with
"Arrival", a quiet, haunting song with an enchanting melody. Darius Jones'
tasty, bittersweet tone is perfect for this quartet, his solo short yet
succinct. Even more restrained is "Subtle Pressure", suspense-filled,
elegant, emerging from a dream-like haze, Mr. Jones sax glides over the
hushed rhythm team. Ms. Rosenbloom takes a lush, sweeping solo which moves
from subtle to orchestral in a short amount of time, making every note
count. The theme for "Passage" recalls "Maiden Voyage" in a certain way,
balancing that hypnotic refrain with crafty flourishes and features a
superb solo drum section. Mr. Anderson's drumming is consistently strong
throughout and gets a couple of chances to stretch out and impress each
time. Each of the six songs on this disc contains a most memorable central
melody that made me want to sing or at least hum along. Ms. Rosenbloom
often makes these pieces sound easy to play, yet there is quite a bit of
creativity going on below the surface. The odd thing is that this disc came
out six years ago and that I hadn't heard about Mara Rosenbloom until this
year. The lesson is that it is never too late to give some credit where it
is due. So check out this gem today! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MARA ROSENBLOOM QUARTET
[With DARIUS JONES/SEAN CONLY/NICK ANDERSON] -
Songs from the Ground (Fresh Sound New Talent 418; Spain) Featuring Mara
Rosenbloom on piano & compositions, Darius Jones on alto sax, Sean Conly on
bass and Nick Anderson on drums. This Ms. Rosenbloom second quartet release
from 2013, four years after her debut quartet disc. The members of the
quartet are the same except for the bassist, who is now Sean Conly. Mr.
Conly has become one of the most in-demand bassist in town since moving
here and working with Michael Attias, Amanda Monico and Yoni Kretzmer. Ms.
Rosenbloom also wrote, arranged and produced this disc. Beginning with a
sublime solo piano intro called, "Relief", we are off. Like her previous
disc, Ms. Rosenbloom excels at writing enchanting melodies that are both
uplifting and engaging, especially with the great Darius Jones soaring on
top. The quartet sounds even better here, each member integral to the
unified group sound. Ms. Rosenbloom's songs often remind me of the songs
that Herbie Hancock composed for his Blue Note records from the
mid-sixties. For this disc, Ms. Rosenbloom's pieces are often longer and
more involved. I dig the way Darius Jones stretches out each note on his
solo from "Unison" while the rest of the quartet play an elastic tempo
which organically shifts quicker, slower, quicker a tough balancing act but
nicely handled by all four members. "Common Language" is a long, slow,
bluesy piece that builds righteously throughout. The title track is an epic
length work which again takes it s time to build into slow moving dream
world with a long, expressive story-like solo from Darius Jones and an
equally riveting solo from Ms. Rosenbloom as well. I really look forward to
checking out this quartet live but in the meantime we can just savor their
two superb discs. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
01.23.14Songs from the Ground, Great review from TomaJazz SPAIN!
10.23.13Songs From the Ground featured on itunes!
You'll find the Quartet's 2013 release spotlighted in the "New & Noteworthy" jazz section of itunes this week. Many excellent pianists noted this week all worthy of your devoted listening attention - Matthew Shipp, Myra Melford, Robert Glasper, and a new addition to the itunes catalogue from the one & only Thelonious Monk. - Check out all these records!
10.13.13Beautiful & detailed Review for Songs from the Ground written by Pianist, Blogger, and PhD Ethnomusicologist Mark Lomanno!
"Pianist Mara Rosenbloom suffuses artistic vision into each musical gesture—each corner and crevice—of her recent release, Songs from the Ground...an accumulated sum of highly musical moments that suggests the absolute clarity of an artistic aesthetic—the focus and direction of her musical voice are undeniable."
08.27.13Songs from the Ground featured pick on New Music Box!
"Small Finds" was included on this virtual mixtape of only 11 tracks! All the musicians featured here are truly inspiring. CLICK & LISTEN.
07.20.13Thoughtful, Tunefully Arranged Piano Jazz from Mara Rosenbloom
Lucid Culture, NYC Music Blog Review!
05.13.13Tune into KHSU 90.3 to hear "unison" off the new record
Arcata, CA "Diverse Public Radio"
05.11.13Pennsylvania Tribune Reviews Songs from the Ground
"A hardworking and productive group"
05.11.13All About Jazz Reviews Songs from the Ground
"Melodic Goodness...shadowed with spiritual enlightenment."
04.30.13Mara Rosenbloom Releases Songs from the Ground May 5, 2013! (Fresh Sound New Talent Records)
Pianist/compser Mara Rosenbloom digs deep into the fertile soil of
her own personal history on her second release as a leader, Songs From
the Ground (Fresh Sound New Talent). The album, Rosenbloom explains,
is all about connecting with her roots – “Not just the roots of where
I come from physically, but the seeds of my musical inspiration."
Those roots furrow through richly-layered terrain for an artist at
such an early stage of her development. Songs From the Ground unearths
stories of home, family, childhood, memory, wistful nostalgia and
personal trauma; the music reaches ambitiously forward while
maintaining a grounded folk simplicity. Rosenbloom’s compositions
reveal an intellectual curiosity which has never lost a childlike
sense of wonder, a mature sensibility combining narrative scope with
direct emotional expression.
Tilling that ground alongside Rosenbloom is her longstanding, highly
attuned quartet – saxophonist Darius Jones, bassist Sean Conly, and
drummer Nick Anderson. Both Jones and Anderson studied with Rosenbloom
at New York University, and the saxophonist brings his own ruggedly
soulful approach to the pianist’s heartfelt compositions.
“Nobody plays this music like Darius," Rosenbloom says. “Nobody can
play a melody like him. These are intuitive melodies, but he
internalizes them and plays them as if he’s written them. That’s a
Of the quartet, Rosenbloom says “I didn't want people who would just
play what’s on the page or bow to whatever I wrote. I wanted a band
that would make the music their own and bring their own personalities
to the table. To me, that’s what’s special about this music in
Rosenbloom deepened her own dedication to that music during a period of intense physical and mental struggle. Born in Madison, WI, she studied jazz composition and piano at NYU, mentored by notables like Gil Goldstein, Jim McNeely, Kenny Werner, and Ralph Alessi. But in 2005 she suffered a car accident that shattered her elbow, entirely replacing the joint with a cement spacer. It would be a devastating
loss for anyone, but threatened to derail the dreams of the young pianist.
“Up until that point I had a lot of positive encouragement from
teachers and friends and family," Rosenbloom recalls. “But after the
accident there was whispering amongst my family that my career could
be over, my doctors told me to think about doing something else with
my life, even some of my teachers began giving me the cold shoulder. I
realized that if I was going to recover it was going to have to be all
or nothing. So I really got serious and it turned out that playing was
what got me through it."
Through that ordeal Rosenbloom gained a greater confidence, reflected
to its fullest on Songs From the Ground. Where School of Fish was
written in the immediate aftermath of the accident, she says, “this
one is about confidence, figuring out who I am. I was kind of a free
spirit when I was younger; I felt like I could do anything. I think
the whole accident gave me a fervor about working hard, but it also
cast a humongous shadow of doubt over everything in life. This record
is really about honing in on my own sound and the melodies that I’ve
been hearing my whole life."
Those melodies are manifest in their purest form through the two solo
improvisations, “Relief" and “to be alone." Essentially, these two
short pieces provide a glimpse into the pianist’s compositional
process, revealing her music in its raw essence. “They add a very
personal voice to the record," Rosenbloom says. “You keep these ideas
bottled inside you for who knows how long, so those pieces really
express the relief of sending your stories out into the world."
Many of those stories relate directly to Rosenbloom’s family, her
mother in particular. “Whistle Stop" was inspired by the 1991 film
Fried Green Tomatoes (the full title of the novel on which the movie
was based is “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café), which
she and her mother watched together often. The pianist’s opening
rumble approximates an approaching train, and the piece deals with the
familiar contradictions of home. “It’s about being in a situation
where you feel intensely compelled to stay and intensely want to run
away at the same time," Rosenbloom explains.
The tune’s sound was also subliminally inspired by Thomas Newman’s
soundtrack for the film. Similarly, the coda of the album’s closing
title track draws on a song from Carole King’s soundtrack for the
children’s film Really Rosie – though it’s actually an interpretation
of Rosenbloom’s memory of her mother singing and playing the song at
her own piano, filtering the original through a prism of memory and
“Small Finds" is an intimate portrait of childhood discovery. The
title, Rosenbloom says, refers to “things that you find that remind
you to be curious, that remind you to be like a little kid. A little
mushroom growing under a tree or a penny on the road." There are
larger discoveries to be found in pieces like “Unison" and “Common
Language," both of which stem from a desire to forge profound
connections with her fellow musicians. “Unison" was inspired by one of
her mentors, avant-garde bassist Lisle Ellis, who yearns to reach an
understanding where two artists could improvise in unison at length.
“What if we could work towards becoming so in tune with each other,"
poses Rosenbloom, “that even in a completely improvised moment or
amidst chaotic surroundings we might share the same moment of
inspiration, a simple melody discovered at exactly the same time?
"I imagine it would be like flying, probably the most amazing feeling ever."
While Songs From the Ground is redolent of the soil in which its
sounds and emotions were grown, Rosenbloom constantly strives to lift
off from that familiar earth and soar free.
03.11.13Tune into KEXP 90.3 Seattle to hear tracks from Songs from the Ground!
(or call in a request if you can't wait any longer!)
03.06.13"Small Finds" was aired on NPR'S Fresh Air Today!
If you were tuned into NPR'S Fresh Air today to hear Terry Gross & Jeffrey Toobin discussing Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Supreme Court politics, you might have heard the first clip of Songs from the Ground (the Quartet's new record) to be aired on public radio (pre-release!!).
Click on the attached link to hear a whole 1 minute "sneak peak" of the track on NPR'S website.
Other clips included in todays segments included tracks by 5 time grammy nominated pianist Fred Hirsch, and grammy award winning vocalist Kurt Elling. Looks like we're in good company!
03.11.11Chattanooga, TN Times Free Press Interview
06.14.10Mara Rosenbloom Quartet airs on Jazz Podcast, Honolulu, Hawaii!
James Harber has been running a radio show/podcast in Hawaii since 2001. This month, "Arrival," the first track off of the Mara Rosebloom's Quartet debut album School of Fish is being featured on James' podcast, in addition to an exclusive 30 minute interview with Mara. Click the link below to have a listen!
05.30.10All About Jazz features Mara Rosenbloom in the Listen Up! section of their June, 2010 issue!
Every month, 'New York's only homegrown jazz gazette,' All About Jazz, interviews two emerging artists in the "Listen Up!" section of their monthly periodical.
This June (2010), you can read a Mara Rosenbloom feature interview on page 12!
You can pick up hard copies of the newspaper at any jazz club or record store in NYC, or quickly sign up for a free - no frills/no hassles - membership, to gain immediate access to the entire newspaper online (available for PDF download).
05.30.10Darius Jones nominated for Up & Coming Artist of the Year by JazzTimes
Nominations for 2010 Up & Coming Artist of the year were just announced April, 14.
Rosenbloom Quartet saxophonist Darius Jones is among the limited list of 5 nominees (alongisde Esperanza Spalding, Linda Oh, & Darcy James Argue).
Wish him luck!
04.10.10Tune in to Mara Rosenbloom Quartet on the Radio in your neighborhood!
The Mara Rosenbloom Quartet may already be on the air in your
city! In conjunction with our Spring 2010 tour, you can tune in to the following radio stations to hear our recent release School of Fish on the radio near you!
Pittsburgh, PA: WRCT 88.3 FM "One to One" w/ Kevin Amos, Sundays 6am - Noon
Madison, WI: WORT 89.9 FM "Strictly Jazz Sounds" w/ Stephen Braunginn, Thursdays 2-5pm
Columbus/Central, OH: WCBE 90.5 "Jazz Sunday" w/ Gail Burkholder, Sundays 3-6pm
07.25.09All About Jazz reviews School of Fish!
05.01.09School of Fish now available online!
Mara Rosenbloom Quartet's most recent release