127

Nordic Connect: Flurry

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Nordic Connect: Flurry 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 on the rise through her association with composer/bandleader Maria Schneider as well as her own efforts, including the definitive At Sea (ArtistShare, 2006). Montreal-based Christine has her own equally impressive discography, including the modern mainstream-with-a-twist Look Left (Effendi, 2006). They've worked together over the years, but this is the first time they've recorded as part of a fully democratic collective, and it's a marvel to hear the subliminal simpatico that makes their intertwining lines jump off the page.



There are those who will be compelled to look for a link to the often-cited but ultimately unsupportable Nordic Cool myth of labels like ECM, but Flurry is nothing if not filled with warmth. Whether it's Ingrid's rounded tone (but sharing a Kenny Wheeler-like disposition to the occasional sudden burst into the upper register), Christine's equally appealing alto and soprano, or the compelling writing (split between Olin and the two Jensens), there's more fire than ice, even if that fire is, more often than not, a slow burn. From the elegant swing of Christine's "Sweet Adelphi to the more complex arrangement of Ingrid's "Things I Love and modal heat of Olin's "Sweet Dream, which features a vivid post-Coltrane alto solo that's Christine's best of the set, followed by an equally potent trumpet solo, this is music that touches the head and heart.

The largely acoustic complexion of Nordic Connect is broken up a bit by Olin's Fender Rhodes and Ingrid's occasional and subtle use of electronics, including a touch of delay during her solo on "Things I Love and some subtle filtering on Christine's more energetic "Cowboy. "Olin's Rhodes work on "Cowboy straddles the line between abstraction and clearer definition, with the always well-matched Wikan and Welin especially in-the-pocket.

The recording of Flurry grew out of a 2005 Canadian tour, but the group has already hit the road again for a Swedish tour in the winter of 2007, which suggests that it won't be a one-time affair. Olin and the Jensen sisters may be strong leaders on their own, but there's no question that together, Nordic Connect has something special that's well worth continuance.

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

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

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Upbeat And Sweet" CD/LP/Track Review Upbeat And Sweet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.