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Ingrid Jensen and Project O: Now As Then (2003)

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Ingrid Jensen and Project O: Now As Then No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The familiar groove of the organ trio returns with Ingrid Jensen's newest release. Her resounding trumpet and mellow flugelhorn carry a message that jazz will grow from its tradition of syncopated swing and creative improvisation toward a fresh formula that keeps the best elements on board, while adding virtuosic individual displays and a cohesive ensemble interplay.

Trumpet and saxophone give Project O a classic front line flavor that has been espoused by many memorable straight-ahead quintets throughout jazz's history. Gary Versace's Hammond B-3 organ, on the other hand, lends a different mainstream timbre that points in several different directions. It's a great combination.

Seamus Blake puts in a solid performance on his guest appearances and complements Jensen's trumpet quite well. Steve Wilson and Christine Jensen, who both add lively alto and soprano saxophone voices to the program, bring out a lighter side of the music. (Christine is Ingrid's sister.) The session includes both serious drama and laid-back swing. While it's not clear on every track whether we're listening to Christine or Steve, each has sufficient leading roles to verify their individual spirits. Leader Ingrid Jensen is at ease with both.

On Christine's "Dilemma," Wilson trades fours with the composer. Both have chosen the alto for this one; Wilson is on the left audio channel and Jensen is on the right. Their natural conversation leads to an open trumpet soliloquy and an eventual coming together of the band's distinctive voices. As with most of the album, an emphasis on rich harmony drives the piece forward with multi-hued layers. Now As Then draws together trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's original thoughts on the creative path that modern jazz needs to follow if it is to achieve continued growth.

Audio samples and more may be found at Jensen's web site .


Track Listing: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; R Hour; Now As Then; Periwinkle; Gloria; Silver Prelude/Silver Twilight; Tony's Town; Dilemma.

Personnel: Ingrid Jensen- trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Versace- B-3 organ; Jon Wikan- drums; Steve Wilson- alto saxophone, alto flute; Christine Jensen- alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Seamus Blake- tenor saxophone.

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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