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Brent Jensen

Now making his home in Seattle, saxophonist Brent Jensen was the Director of Jazz Studies at the College of Southern Idaho for many years. As the artistic director for the CSI Jazz Summit and the Jazz Saturdays workshop series, Jensen was a major force in cultivating new performers and bringing world-class jazz events to Idaho, creating a climate of rich cultural pursuit that remains since his departure.

Raised in Boise, Brent Jensen studied in New York City with jazz legend Lee Konitz on a grant in 1987 from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He was a featured winner of the Woodwinds on Fire international talent search conducted in 1996 by Jazziz magazine and has performed with a variety of jazz artists including Gene Harris, Bobby Shew, Gary Foster, John Clayton, Joe LaBarbera, Wycliffe Gordon, Warren Vache, John Stowell, Bill Watrous, Jamie Findlay, Dave Peck, Dianne Schuur, Kristin Korb, Marc Seales, Doug Miller, John Bishop, Bill Anschell, Don Sickler and many others. Brent's recordings have received significant national radio airplay and have been featured in all the major jazz periodicals.

His debut CD for the Origin label, "The Sound of a Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond", charted on JazzWeek's Top 50 for thirteen weeks in the spring of 2002. Selections continue to be in rotation on a number of jazz radio stations across the country. "Dry Martini" was also featured on Jazzweek's Top 100 and NPR's JazzWorks' Top 25 lists for the year 2002. Brent's second recording for Origin, "Stay Cool", made Jim Wilke's (host of Jazz After Hours) "Favorite Jazz CDs of 2002" list. His duo recording with pianist Bill Anschell, "We Couldn't Agree More" was named a "Critic's Choice" pick by Jazziz magazine and one of Jim Wilke's "Best Northwest Jazz" CDs. Brent's latest Origin release is "More Sounds of a Dry Martini" (May 2021). All of Brent Jensen's recordings are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora and many other music streaming platforms.


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15
Album Review

Brent Jensen: More Sounds of a Dry Martini

Read "More Sounds of a Dry Martini" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Two decades have passed since alto saxophonist Brent Jensen recorded his debut album for Origin Records, Sounds of a Dry Martini: A Tribute to Paul Desmond, in 2001. To Jensen's surprise, the album became so enormously popular that the possibility of a sequel was envisioned. There was, however, one large stumbling block—by 2007, Jensen had sold his alto sax and switched to soprano. It was not until 2017, after he had moved to Seattle, Washington, and bought another alto, that ...

446
Album Review

Wellstone Conspiracy: Motives

Read "Motives" reviewed by John Barron


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 ...

171
Album Review

Brent Jensen: One More Mile

Read "One More Mile" reviewed by John Barron


Idaho-based saxophonist Brent Jensen seems to have found his musical soul-mates in the Pacific Northwest. For One More Mile, the College of Southern Idaho professor teams up with three of Seattle, Washington's finest--pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop--for an intriguing straight-ahead set of standards and originals.

Jensen is a well-rounded improviser who can get things cooking in a variety of styles and tempos. With his warm-toned soprano saxophone front and center, he moves easily from a ...

182
Album Review

Brent Jensen: Trios

Read "Trios" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Alto saxophonist Brent Jensen reinterprets seven classic, time-tested standards on Trios; and if the word “standards" makes you think “mainstream," don't be surprised if the sound here incorporates a free and elastic vibe.The Idaho-based reedman--the Director of Jazz Studies and Woodwinds at College of South Idaho in Twin Falls--employs two very different trios on this, his fourth Origin Records release. Three tunes feature Jamie Findlay on guitar and Zac Matthews on bass--both from the Los Angeles-based Acoustic Jazz ...

136
Album Review

Brent Jensen/Rob Walker Quintet: Art of the Groove

Read "Art of the Groove" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


It seems fitting that Art of the Groove came out in mid-May, about a week before the late Miles Davis's birthday. The set spends some time—and spends it well—saluting the late trumpeter, most notably on the opener, with “Straight From Miles." Flugelhornist Rob Walker wrote the tune with phrases from the '58 recording of Davis's take on Thelonious Monk's “Straight, No Chaser." If this one doesn't have you thinking of Davis's '58 Milestones set, especially when Walker holds a horn ...

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Album Review

The Brent Jensen/Rob Walker Quintet: Art of the Groove

Read "Art of the Groove" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The Brent Jensen/Rob Walker Quintet opens in a mellow groove and stays there much of the way on this backward- glancing yet quite contemporary album that wouldn’t have been out of place in the bop-based Blue Note / Prestige catalogs of the late ‘50s–early ‘60s. Alto saxophonist Jensen and trumpeter Walker offer an earnest tribute to their musical predecessors—especially the legendary Miles Davis—without imitating them, choosing instead to invoke the spirit of the bop era while giving it their own ...

157
Album Review

The Brent Jensen/David Sills Quartet: Stay Cool

Read "Stay Cool" reviewed by Dave Nathan


It's good to see that there are talented jazz artists who are willing to keep the "cool" school alive and well if for no other reason (and there are others) than to memorialize those great artists starting with Lester Young who brought this jazz genre to prominence. Riding on the featherweight, tuneful approach to improvisation and the slow almost invisible vibrato, artists such as Miles Davis, Lee Konitz, MQJ, Bob Brookmeyer and others became full-fledged members in the school or ...

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"...a saxophonist of impressive range, from mainstream to free." -JazzTimes

Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto

Location

Seattle

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Paul Desmond
saxophone, alto
Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Steve Lacy
saxophone, soprano
Warne Marsh
saxophone, tenor
Lester Young
saxophone

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Live at Boxley’s

Records DK
2022

buy

Friends Again

Records DK
2021

buy

More Sounds of a Dry...

Origin Records
2021

buy

The CSI Sessions

Krispin Hartung Records
2019

buy

Take Ten

From: More Sounds of a Dry Martini
By Brent Jensen

The Edge

From: Humble Origins
By Brent Jensen

E.J.

From: One More Mile
By Brent Jensen

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