Michael Bloom has been ferociously active on the Boston avant-garde music scene since at least the mid-'70s, leading to speculation that Bean Town would have been something quite different with no Bloom, at least in terms of weird music. His activities have included organizing concerts by performers who very few people had heard of, at least the first time Bloom brought them to town. He has also written extensively about many different types of music for publications such as The Boston Phoenix, while his own activities as a performer began to create more and more demands on his time. The superb trio Urban Ambience has been one of the longest-running projects that this artist has been involved with, also involving tape artist and radio producer Chuck Rosina and multi-instrumentalist Bob McCloskey. A typical performance by this group -- unfortunately rare at times in a town whose club owners seem bent on eliminating the avant-garde entirely -- includes both electronic and acoustic improvisation, touching on the humorous as well as the deadly serious. Bloom's use of the electronic marimba in this setting has developed into some of his most innovative and personal work as an instrumentalist.
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