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From her arrival on the New York City jazz scene ten years ago, it was clear to those listening closely that trumpeter Ingrid Jensen was blessed with a fresh, confident sound and versatile musicality. She had followed studies at Boston's Berklee College of Music with three years of teaching and performing in Europe. And she'd spent some of that time being mentored by the late Art Farmer.
Because of her power, grace and consistency, it is only fitting that the Canadian horn player's sophomore release, recorded in 1996, has been reissued by Montreal-based Justin Time Records in a collaborative partnership with Enja.
The Here on Earth project teamed Jensen with pianist George Colligan, alto/soprano saxophonist Gary Bartz, drummer Bill Stewart, bassist Dwayne Burno and, on two tracks, singer Jill Seifers. Their work together is cohesive, intuitive and trusting. Highlights include Jensen's up-tempo Woody Shaw tribute, "Woodcarvings," the Colligan-penned title track and the Colligan-Jensen duet on "Ninety-One," by late pianist Mercedes Rossi.
Jensen wrote lyrics to Bill Evans' tune "Time Remembered," on which Seifers' vocals add a fine contrast to Jensen's clear and robust melodic voice on flugelhorn. Later, on the Kenny Wheeler tune "Consolation," voice and trumpet become almost one, each enriching the other. Jensen, Colligan and Bartz cut loose on the pianist's reharmonization of the Cole Porter standard "You Do Something to Me," and Jensen's hornwork shines brightly on Gil Evans' "The Time of the Barracudas," which features Colligan on Fender Rhodes. Sheer blowing dominates their take on Hank Mobley's "Avila and Tequila."
Eight years after its recording, Here on Earth reminds why Jensen, now in her late 30s, still stands out as one of the finest younger trumpeters in jazzwithout hype and fanfare.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.