181

Nordic Connect: Flurry

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Nordic Connect: Flurry 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 lots of gold, orange and yellow coloring in the images that are brought forth, with a feeling of personal connection and optimism that is very strong. Flurry is an invitation to smile and relax, but not by being saccharine, since there is almost always an undertone of "happy-sadness," as Ingrid Jensen calls it. This added ingredient creates a layer of complexity and poignancy that draws the listener in.

Ethnicity aside, the music's humanity comes from the deep connections between the musicians. The band's core consists of Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Christine Jensen (alto and soprano saxophone) who are Canadian-born sisters, while Swedish pianist Maggi Olin is a Berklee College of Music schoolmate of Ingrid's from twenty years ago. Christine introduced drummer Jon Wikan to Ingrid and they ultimately married, while bassist Matthias Welin met Ingrid in Olin's band in Sweden.

While the nominal leader of Nordic Connect is Ingrid Jensen, since it was she who had the desire to bring her sister and Olin together, the compositional contributions are shared among the three women, and the band feels more like a cooperative. This shared identity is very strong regardless of who composed a particular piece.

The compositions were conceived as open-ended sketches, and the arrangements developed over time as the band played together. The thematic declamations evolve out a piece's opening strains, while the solos are logical extensions and outgrowths of the mood that has been set up. While each piece has its own mood and groove, they all share the method of organic development that tells a story, leading the listener through a clear arc of development and resolution.

Ingrid Jensen's name recognition has increased through her work in Maria Schneider's Orchestra, and one cannot help but hear a connection of musical outlook between them. Also, the two Jensens many times play lines in unison, blending together and creating a new sonority that is neither brass nor reed.

ArtistShare continues to create and support deeply satisfying and accessible music, of which Flurry is a fine example.

Visit Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, Maggi Olin and Jon Wikan on the web.


Track Listing: Flurry; Sweet Adelphi; Things I Love; Sweet Dream; Garden Hour; Seascape; Seafever; Cowboy; Breathe/Quadr'l.

Personnel: Ingrid Jensen: trumpet, flugelhorn, effects; Christine Jensen: alto and soprano saxophones; Maggi Olin: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jon Wikan: drums, cajon, percussion; Mattias Welin: bass.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: ArtistShare | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Christian Scott Christian Scott
trumpet
Ingrid Jensen Ingrid Jensen
trumpet
Benny Powell Benny Powell
trombone

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Andando el Tiempo" CD/LP/Track Review Andando el Tiempo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "The New Breed" CD/LP/Track Review The New Breed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Hawniyaz" CD/LP/Track Review Hawniyaz
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!