Pianist Mara Rosenbloom moves freely between musical idioms, yet always showcasing a deeply personal perspective. For over a decade, Rosenbloom has collaborated with musicians across popular, modern, avant-garde, and other cross-cultural jazz styles. Her most recent album, Prairie Burn (Fresh Sound/New Talent) was met with smashing reviews from New York Music Daily and DownBeat.
Rosenbloom’s trio project, Flyways, uses the concept of migratory bird patterns as a metaphor for the interplay between personal confidence and group sensitivity. The trio consists of Rosenbloom on piano, Anaïs Maviel on voice and percussion, and Adam Lane on bass. At The Jazz Gallery, Flyways will perform “I know what I dreamed,” a long-form exploratory piece expanding the text from one of Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems. We spoke with Rosenbloom on working with Maviel and Lane, the ever-important significance of Rich’s poetry, and her process of adapting text to an improvisational trio format.
TJG: Tell me a little about the development of the Flyways trio.
MR: Flyways has taken a few forms. It began, as my projects often begin, with an intuitive, organic feeling about putting elements together that might make sense. Flyways started as a larger ensemble with Daniel Carter playing horns and Jeff Davis on drums. At that point, we were totally improvising, and played a few shows together. I can’t say Flyways will never be a larger group again, but as I began to whittle down and make things more clear, the trio format became a natural fit for me.
TJG: Tell me about Anaïs Maviel. I discovered her through your music, and I’ve been blown away by what I’m hearing.
MR: Anaïs is amazing. She’s a force. The first time I saw her, I was totally blown away. She’s singing on a very high level, and her rhythmic concept is very strong. Anaïs plays the Surdo drum, which most people know from Brazilian Samba. For marching, it’s often a lightweight drum, but hers is a custom-made heavier wooden version that stands on the floor. It’s got a big, warm sound. It’s great in the band. We don’t have a drum set in the group, so the Surdo brings in some of the same texture and rhythmic interplay with a different sort of timbre and space.
TJG: Does she live in New York, or is she just passing through?
MR: When I met her, Anaïs had just moved to New York, and was here for at least a few years after. She’s been touring the world as a soloist and in duos, so we’re excited that she’s in town now. She’s from France, partially of Hatian descent, and she’s in New York now by way of Paris. I met her through the Arts for Art community, the organization that puts on the Vision Festival in New York, now in its 23rd year. Both of my mentors, Connie Crothers and Cooper-Moore, were involved with Arts for Art, along with other musicians I work with, and I’ve steadily become a part of the scene myself. I met Anaïs after seeing her perform at one of Arts for Art’s smaller monthly concerts. She’s not quite sure where she’ll end up next, I think, traveling through music has been good for her. Musical opportunities arise, life pulls you where it pulls you. I reached out to The Jazz Gallery when I knew there would be a window where we could get this project rolling.