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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.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.