Jane Ira Bloom is among the still-small number of jazz saxophonists to have concentrated primarily on the soprano (though many play it as a second or third horn), and she has been at it for quite a while now. In fact, Early Americans is Bloom’s 16th release under her own name (her debut recording appeared in 1978). Although Bloom has been associated with some fairly avant-garde players, her own concerns are fairly straight and straightforward, apart from an occasional use of subtle electronic effects. She deals with melodies and improvisations that are easy to follow and develop naturally. But she is, more importantly, an effective writer and rock-solid instrumentalist with an original sound and approach to her horn. The listener who wants to find antecedents can certainly hear the influence of both Coltrane and Steve Lacy, but even then, what one hears is what Bloom has done with these influences, which is alway something personal. Bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte have both worked with Bloom for many years, and enter into things with obvious relish. Bloom for her part sounds relaxed and masterful on this, her first trio date, delivering one of the most convincing documents in a long and valuable career.