The modern mainstream brings together familiar faces with unfamiliar ones. Here, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen is supported by drummer Bill Stewart, bassist Dwayne Burno and pianist George Colligan for a freewheeling session that shows off her strengths. This session, her second recording as a leader, brings a varied and exciting menu to the table. Stewart's drive and textural variety keeps the session rhythmically charged, and Colligan's use of the Fender Rhodes on three numbers extends that quality. "Fallin' " combines the Rhodes sound with Gary Bartz's gritty alto saxophone sound for an upbeat lift; the piece includes "fours" between trumpet and alto sax as well as an extended drum solo. Bartz guests on five tracks, including on soprano in "Woodcarvings," one of Jensen's compositions (this one in honor of Woody Shaw).
The title tune is Colligan's composition; his dreamy overlapping piano tones blend appropriately with Jensen's sweetened flugelhorn timbre. The comparison with Miles Davis and Woody Shaw is immediately apparent. In the liner notes, Jensen indicates that another of her role models is trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. She refers to him as "the most underrated trumpet player today."
"Time Remembered" features vocalist Jill Seifers; Jensen wrote the lyrics and shares the melody on flugelhorn. Together with the pianist, they produce a moody dreamlike scene that recalls the original Bill Evans touch. Seifers maintains a low profile, preferring to blend her smooth alto voice with the flugelhorn. Seifers also appears on Kenny Wheeler's "Consolation," where she sings wordless vocals in unison with Jensen's flugelhorn and later stretches out for a marvelous wordless improvisation.
Bouncing with a muted trumpet on "You Do Something to Me" Jensen offers a reminder of why she's considered a hard bop trumpeter. With alto sax and piano supplying a quirky harmonic structure unlike that originally constructed by Cole Porter, the trumpeter spins through the familiar tune. One hand plays the straight and narrow while the other hand explores new territory. Gil Evans' "Time of the Barracudas" begins with an unaccompanied introduction by bassist Dwayne Burno and sets the stage with a lengthy Fender Rhodes romp. Jensen's open trumpet weaves quickly and fluidly through the registers with ease. Her pure tone and rapid interval leaps play a large role in the ensemble's success with this classic piece. Likewise, Jensen's honest up-front manner with the horn makes the entire session an item of value. Recommended.
Track Listing: Shiva's Dance; Woodcarvings; Here On Earth; Time Remembered; You Do Something to Me; Time of the Barracudas; Ninety-One; Consolation; Fallin'; Avila and Tequila.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.