By Martin Longley | Published January 2017
Prairie Burn, the latest album from New York pianist Mara Rosenbloom, begins at a gallop. An opening 5-minute improvised overture, “Brush Fire,” precedes a four-part title suite, which dominates this excellent trio debut.
The opener sets the scene with an immediate ood of dense activity, Sean Conly bowing his groaning bass alongside the leader’s agitated clusters. Very soon, this flurry settles into open space, and Rosenbloom finds her flow, repeating cycles in a near-minimalist manner.
“Prairie Burn” itself begins with a playful introduction from Rosenbloom, who grew up near the Great Plains of Wisconsin, before moving to New York 12 years ago. Her runs are full of hopeful traipsing, delicate and optimistic, and drummer Chad Taylor eloquently comments on and responds to her every phrase. The bass and drums are almost linear, but Rosenbloom is already off on an altering course, subverting what the listener might expect of the piece’s melodic direction.
Prairie Burn: Brush Fire (An Improvised Overture); The Prairie Burn Set: Red-Winged Black Birds, Turbulence, Work!, Songs From The Ground; I Rolled And I Tumbled; There Will Never Be Another You. (55:00)
Personnel: Mara Rosenbloom, piano; Sean Conly, bass; Chad Taylor, drums.