446

Wellstone Conspiracy: Motives

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Wellstone Conspiracy: Motives The Wellstone Conspiracy is a collective venture for four of the more prolific jazz musicians residing in the Northwest region of the United States. The group consists of Idaho-based saxophonist Brent Jensen and from Seattle, pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop. The quartet, previously heard together on Jensen's One More Mile (Origin, 2008), hits the mark with Motives, a disc full of stunning interplay and individual showmanship.

A highlight of the recording is the opening "Bye Bye Blackwell," Jenson's tribute to the late drummer Ed Blackwell. The tune builds on Johnson's droning double stops and Jenson's lyrical melody with spirited free-form improvising and aggressive drum flourishes from Bishop. Anschell's swinging "Phindango," based on the chord changes to Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance," showcases the pianist's ability to express harmonic sophistication with an inviting warmth. The tune also features one of many exceptional solo spots for Johnson. The bassist shines throughout the recording with a deep-in-the-wood tone and free flowing lines. He is especially poignant on his composition "Portrait," a moving ballad.

Jenson, heard exclusively on soprano saxophone, utilizes subtleness in phrasing his original melodies—the bouncy waltz "Anne Rose" and the quirky "Doop Dee Doop. This same understated approach carries over into his convincing bebop-inspired solos with clever rhythmic variations.

The disc closes with a rather brooding arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's ballad "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing." Here, Anschell uses sparse motifs in his solo to create a kind of floating intensity that signifies the underlying motive of the ensemble; a pervading accessibility with a readiness to move freely beyond convention.


Track Listing: Bye Bye Blackwell; Phindango; Anne Rose; Turbulator; Portrait; Stories We Hold; Doop Dee Doop; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.

Personnel: Brent Jensen: soprano saxophone; Bill Anschell: piano; Jeff Johnson: bass; John Bishop: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Ena / One" CD/LP/Track Review Ena / One
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Simians Of Swing" CD/LP/Track Review Simians Of Swing
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review After Dark
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 20, 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!