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
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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Blue Innuendo" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Innuendo
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Dreamland Mechanism" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamland Mechanism
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Shades of Rio" CD/LP/Track Review Shades of Rio
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 23, 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!