The Brent Jensen/Rob Walker Quintet: Art of the Groove (2004)
The program consists of five original compositions by Walker, two by Jensen and a couple of handsome showcases for the latter’s burnished alto, the standards “It Could Happen to You” and “You Go to My Head.” The opener, Walker’s “Straight from Miles,” has a bright, bluesy ambiance reminiscent of the classic Davis quintet, underscored by thoughtful statements from Walker, Jensen and bassist Miller. Walker also wrote “Art of the Groove,” “Evan’s Pen,” “Later” and a second explicit tribute to Miles, “Dewey’s Steps,” while Jensen chipped in with the ebullient “Danza Callejera” and wistful “Anne Rose.”
Jensen and Walker are persuasive improvisers, as is Seales, and the quintet quickly embraces a compatible groove and won’t let go. That’s good news for listeners, especially those who appreciate traditional bop with a progressive point of view.
Track Listing: Straight from Miles; It Could Happen to You; Art of the Groove; Evan
Personnel: Brent Jensen, alto saxophone; Rob Walker, flugelhorn; Marc Seales, piano; Doug Miller, bass; John Bishop, drums.