Scandinavian jazz has enjoyed quite a renaissance over the past few decades, ranging from the cool Norwegian austerity of Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal's seminal 1970's recordings to the fiery Swedish expressionism of Magnus Broo and Mats Gustafsson's recent avant-garde excursions. Spirals, the sophomore effort of Nordic Connect, embraces both aesthetic dualities, serving as a pertinent example of the stylistic diversity currently championed by those of North Atlantic descent.All of the members of Nordic Connect share similar ethnic pedigrees, making this session a family affair of sorts. Informally co-led by upcoming Canadian-born trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and her sister ...read more
Flurry (ArtistShare, 2007), the debut disc from Nordic Connect, rang out loquaciously. In assimilating several moods, the music created an emotionally resolute ambience. Since the release of the CD, the band as toured Canada, the USA and Scandinavia, recording its follow-up,Spirals, at the end of 2008. Pianist Maggi Olin wrote most of the compositions, with contributions also coming from trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, saxophonist Christine Jensen and drummer Jon Wikan. The charts are impressive and open-ended, leaving room for the players to extrapolate and permeate the atmosphere with a wealth of ideas. They transcend the mundane as they seek ...read more
Spirals manifest themselves across art, nature and life in varied ways. The geometric spiral image might even be seen three-dimensionally, with infinite depth or point-of-view added or perhaps spinning in perpetual motion. There's movement and implied energy in the curling image. Engendering reflection, a spiral goes from and to somewhere. Like its namesake, Nordic Connect's Spirals is absolutely fascinating; an engaging, energetic and multidimensional musical effort that compels involvement, movement and reflection. Simultaneously, Spirals displays a stark sense of beauty, with poetry of both fire and ice. From the bell-like entry of the lilting ...read more
The word mainstream" has come to have virtually no meaning except perhaps that a regular rhythmic pulse of some kind (not necessarily swinging") can be felt. In this respect, Flurry is a mainstream album, but from every other viewpoint, it is as adventurous as they come. That the band's name, Nordic Connect, implies a Scandinavian connection is actually somewhat of a distraction from the music in that expectations of a cool, crisp, expansive and somber kind of music are simply, for the most part, not fulfilled. Rather, the music is sumptuous and warm, with ...read more
Hailing from Canada, Sweden and Alaska, the five members of Nordic Connect share two constants: Scandinavian blood runs through their veins, as does an impetus to play music that is lighthearted and free, but has at its roots, a serenity where wisdom resides. Co-led by sisters Ingrid (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Christine Jensen (alto and soprano saxophone), Flurry is Nordic Connect's debut album. Nine tracks on the disc, composed by the two Jensens, as well as pianist Maggi Olin, showcase a group that plays together in such a way that produces patterns of a sublime and sedate ...read more
Following the career of Canadian/Scandinavian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen seemed to peak at a new level with At Sea (ArtistShare, 2006), which ambitiously resembled an ECM label project. However, all that has now been overshadowed by the release of Flurry by Nordic Connect. This is a family cooperative that includes an interwoven cast: Jensen on trumpet and flugelhorn, her sister Christine on alto and soprano sax in addition to Swedish pianist-composer Maggi Olin, a former schoolmate of Ingrid's at the Berklee College of Music. Rounding out the ensemble are drummer Jon Wikan (Jensen's husband who bears Alaskan and Norwegian bloodlines) and ...read more
Flurry is the debut by Nordic Connect, a collaboration between two Canadian-born sisters of Danish descent--trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Christine--and Swedish pianist Maggi Olin, whom Ingrid met some years back while studying at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Drummer Jon Wikan--Ingrid's husband and, while Alaskan-born, also possessing Scandinavian lineage--and Swedish bassist Mattias Welin flesh out the quintet for a strong set of originals that explore the value of shared cultural and familial experiences.
Despite living in two different countries, the Jensens have kept close ties over the years. Residing in New York, Ingrid's visibility is ...read more
Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's profile has risen on her featured soloist work with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. She has her own career as a leader--her At Sea (ArtistShare, '06) garnered several glowing reviews on this website. Her Nordic Connect outing, Flurry should lift that profile to the highest level.Jensen has teamed with her sister, alto saxophonist Christine Jensen, pianist Maggi Olin, drummer Jon Wikan and bassist Mattias Welin. All of the band members have a genetic connect" to the Nordic lands, with Olin and Welin both Swedish-born.The outing is dubbed a side project" for Jensen. The band ...read more
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