Christine Jensen's maturity is in quick evidence on this album. Not only does she show great skills as a writer, but her arrangements fill her tunes with a pulsating body and show a keen mind for color and layered textures. She presents compositions for quintet, sextet and septet settings, giving each one character and fulfillment.
Jensen does not bow to the popular or the mundane in her writing. Each song is complex and crafted to bring out the best in the players. She gives them enough room to map their own within the framework, which they do with an intuition that is lyrical and full-bodied.
Jensen does not necessarily follow the norm in her saxophone playing. There is no "Dilemma" for her when she opens with abstraction before touching on a melodic line and taking it to its linear extension. Pianist John Sadowy picks up the melody with a flounce before the sax comes in again for an advent into shifting timbres. A gradual build up in intensity marks "Halfway Home." Ingrid Jensen stirs a quiet storm on the trumpet, the dynamics upped by Christine in whorls before the tension become more palpable. The arc is wide on the title track. Christine's harmonics make reference to Wayne Shorter, but there is no denying that she sculpts her own lines that are very nicely abetted by those from her sister. There is some tasteful drum and bass work to augment the tune, and most certainly the piano that brings in a lighter, bright spark. The lone standard, "I Loves You Porgy," takes its own jaunt, but if convention was to be the way for Jensen, she would be mundane. In the most positive of terms, she just isn't so.
Dilemma; Halfway Home; Just Last Week; A Shorter Distance; Red
Roads; Backyard; I Loves You Porgy; Chelsea Rain.
Christine Jensen: alto and soprano sax; Ingrid Jensen: trumpet and
flugelhorn; Ken Bibace: ?guitar; Joel Miller: tenor sax; John
Sadowy: piano and Fender Rhodes; Fraser Hollins: bass; Jon
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.