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166

Ingrid Jensen: Higher Grounds

Jim Santella By

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Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen was finishing up at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at about the same time Art Blakey left us. His music lives on, of course, and Jensen is one of the benefactors. Now over thirty, the trumpeter is an exponent of the high regard for round tone quality espoused by Woody Shaw, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, and others. Surprisingly few trumpeters respect tone quality as much as this select group. Her third album as a leader sweeps up the kind of Jazz Messengers atmosphere with which Wynton Marsalis started his jazz career. Her quintet smokes with hard bop motion and seethes with an early '70s Fender Rhodes sound like that which Miles Davis employed to contribute to the development of "fusion." Now based in New York, Jensen was Professor of Jazz Trumpet and Big Band at Austria's Bruckner Conservatory when she was twenty-five. Later, touring with Lionel Hampton and his Golden Men of Jazz and appearing with Diva (No Man's Band), Jensen has paid her dues and joined the ranks of today's mainstream leaders.

The title track takes a gentle but jumpy rhythm and explores the combination of blends produced when Fender Rhodes, muted trumpet and flute are interwoven. David Kikoski's "Juriki" lays low and smooth with flugelhorn and tenor saxophone, while Victor Lewis' "Seventh Avenue" jumps smartly, recalling the moods portrayed by classics "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Three Blind Mice." Recommended, Jensen's quintet album pays homage to a fifty-year-old mainstream concept while opening doors through which new improvised ideas shine in brightly.


Track Listing: Seventh Avenue; Juriki; Higher Grounds; Litha; Longing; Touch Her Soft Lips and Part; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Dear John; Land Of Me.Collective

Personnel: Ingrid Jensen- trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Thomas- tenor saxophone, flute; David Kikoski- piano, Fender Rhodes; Ed Howard- bass; Victor Lewis- drums.

Title: Higher Grounds | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Enja Records


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