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'Mental Weather': Moody, Variable, Promising

Celebrated soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has an inventively formatted new recording. It's called Mental Weather, and the CD contains a bonus: An MP3 file that stitches together all of the album's tracks in a seamless flow, the way Bloom and her combo perform them live.

Fresh Air's jazz critic says that owing to Bloom's unerring taste as an improviser — and the attentive support she gets from her quartet — the disc is one of her very best.

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Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Currently he reviews for The Audio Beat and Point of Departure.