Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

115

Nordic Connect: Spirals

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Scandinavian jazz has enjoyed quite a renaissance over the past few decades, ranging from the cool Norwegian austerity of Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal's seminal 1970's recordings to the fiery Swedish expressionism of Magnus Broo and Mats Gustafsson's recent avant-garde excursions. Spirals, the sophomore effort of Nordic Connect, embraces both aesthetic dualities, serving as a pertinent example of the stylistic diversity currently championed by those of North Atlantic descent.

All of the members of Nordic Connect share similar ethnic pedigrees, making this session a family affair of sorts. Informally co-led by upcoming Canadian-born trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and her sister Christine Jensen (on alto and soprano saxophone), whose family has Scandinavian roots, the collective also includes Ingrid's husband, Alaskan-born, Norwegian-blooded drummer Jon Wikan. Ingrid's former school-mate, Swedish pianist Maggi Olin contributes the majority of the date's original compositions, with Swedish bassist Mattias Welin rounding out the group.

Building on longstanding friendships, the quintet's affable rapport is implicit; Welin's pliant basslines accentuate Wikan's spry downbeats with breezy congeniality, as Olin's effervescent Fender Rhodes chords and pellucid piano filigrees radiate bittersweet melancholy. Evincing the ensemble's cooperative sensibility, the Jensen sisters avoid gratuitous pyrotechnics, revealing a virtually clairvoyant sense of interplay. A diverse stylist, Ingrid's handsomely articulated phrasing channels a harmonic sophistication worthy of the late Woody Shaw, while her electronically augmented flurries conjure memories of Miles Davis' amplified explorations. Providing reedy balance to her sister's brassy flourishes, Christine's supple cadences shadow Ingrid's cascading flights with a sonorous tone and lilting sense of melody.

Invoking the album's titular theme, the quintet explores the different connotations spirals suggest across an array of moods, rhythms and textures, from the swirling drum-n-bass undertones of the ebullient, anthem-like opener "Travel Fever," to the tranquil introspection of "Yew." Embracing tonal extremes, they court a menacing serpentine groove on the Milesian fusion of "Earth Sighs," while easing into the languid ebb and flow of the opulent "Ballad North" with blissful élan.

Encompassing a variety of approaches, from turbulent drama to serene lyricism, Nordic Connect's verdant interpretations of their ancestral homeland's rich heritage make Spirals a compelling example of Scandinavian jazz at its most eloquent and harmonious.

Track Listing: Travel Fever; Song For Inga; Earth Sighs; Castle Mountain; M--oving; Yew; 66 Mike; Ballad North; Brejk ä Leg.

Personnel: Ingrid Jensen: trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics; Christine Jensen: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Maggi Olin: piano, Fender Rhodes; Mattias Welin: acoustic bass; Jon Wikan: drums, cajon, percussion.

Title: Spirals | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Artist Share

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Spirals

Spirals

Artist Share
2011

buy
 

Spirals

KSJazz
2010

buy
Flurry

Flurry

ArtistShare
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Without You CD/LP/Track Review
Without You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Internal Combustion CD/LP/Track Review
Internal Combustion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Chant Triptych II CD/LP/Track Review
Chant Triptych II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Oasis CD/LP/Track Review
Oasis
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Les Oiseaux de Matisse CD/LP/Track Review
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read "Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies" CD/LP/Track Review Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Uncharted Territories" CD/LP/Track Review Uncharted Territories
by Don Phipps
Published: October 6, 2018
Read "Sparse" CD/LP/Track Review Sparse
by Don Phipps
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by John Sharpe
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "8 Songs" CD/LP/Track Review 8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018