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Interviews

Ingrid Jensen: Viking Spirit

By Published: September 24, 2007
AAJ: How did the connection with Maria Schneider's orchestra come about?

IJ: That was when I moved back to New York in 1994. I was just getting ready to record my very first album [for Enja]. I never thought I'd be in the studio until my mid-forties, but I was 24 or 25 years old. I was sitting there writing a tune and the phone rings and [saxophonist] Rick Margitza says, "Maria wants you to come down and play in the band. [Trumpeter] Tim Hagans isn't going to be there tonight." I said, "When does it start?" He said, "Ten minutes ago." I said, "Aaaahh!" [laughs]



I had been checking out the band. In fact, the very first time I walked into the club and heard them play, I said to myself, "I'm going to play with this band. I'm going to be playing in that trumpet section. I don't know how, I don't know when, but I will." Because I immediately identified with her music and the sensitivity and the depth and all the elements of her greatness. I wanted to know more.



From then on out, she kept calling me to sub.

Ingrid JensenAAJ: How has your experience in that band affected you as a writer?

IJ: I think the major way it's affected my life and music is in not hearing things so "boxed in" anymore. In big band music, there's a lot of AAB feeling and boxed-in forms. With Maria or Bob Brookmeyer or Gil Evans, it's very through-composed. It's like, "Here's this now and let's see where it's going to go." And then when it's the soloist's turn to solo, it's not so much like a barn-burning, everybody-stand-on-your-feet-and-scream solo. It's more like the feeling of the picture and the story and the art has set you up to go somewhere with it. And then in combination with those players, it doesn't ever allow the music to be the same. It always inspires you as a player to be different.

AAJ: Before we close, I want to come back to the new album, Flurry. Will you explain what ArtistShare is and why you chose it to put out this new album?

IJ: ArtistShare is a web-based distribution service that is taking care of us as musicians in a way that makes us take care of our own product more than ever, and in the end also own it. Everyone's project is different, and everyone approaches their ArtistShare project differently. If you go to MariaSchneider.com, you can see how many ways one can take it. Mine is a little simpler. You get the CD, but you also get many more insights into the music. Video from the road and bootleg radio that's constantly being updated. Photo galleries. Interviews with the musicians about the tunes. For my CD At Sea (ArtistShare, 2006), I did a lot of commentary about how the music that I wrote was inspired by what I saw in Alaska and what I've seen around the world as a more environmentally inspired player.


Selected Discography



Nordic Connect, Flurry (ArtistShare, 2007)
Maria Schneider, Sky Blue (ArtistShare, 2007)
Christine Jensen, Look Left (Effendi, 2006)
Ingrid Jensen, At Sea (ArtistShare, 2006)
Maria Schneider, Concert In The Garden (ArtistShare, 2004)
Ingrid Jensen/Project O, Now As Then (Justin Time, 2003)
Christine Jensen, A Shorter Distance (Effendi, 2002)
Christine Jensen, Collage (Effendi, 2000)
Ingrid Jensen, Higher Grounds (Enja, 1999)
Ingrid Jensen, Here On Earth (Enja, 1997)
Ingrid Jensen, Vernal Fields (Enja, 1994)

Photo Credits
Top Photo: John Abbott
Center Photo: C. Andrew Hovan
Bottom Photo: Angela Jiminez



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