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 reedmanthe Director of Jazz Studies and Woodwinds at College of South Idaho in Twin Fallsemploys two very different trios on this, his fourth Origin Records release. Three tunes feature Jamie Findlay on guitar and Zac Matthews on bassboth from the Los Angeles-based Acoustic Jazz Quartet. "Beautiful Love, "How Deep is the Ocean" and "East of the Sun" have a tight, traditional, pared-down swinging feeling and a relaxed straight-ahead sound. The second trio, featuring drummer John Bishop and bassist Doug Miller, stretches the familiar compositions more toward the free zone. In part, this juxtoposition of reverence and pushing the envelope is what bumps this set up from damned good to truly excellent.
Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing," a seldom-covered gem, with the Bishop/Miller team behind Jensen's sharp lines, is a bouncing, loose-limbed romp. Coltrane's classic "Giant Steps" and Monk's "Well You Needn't" are infused with a vibrant, free-flowing buoyancy by the same trio. Throughout, Jensen's tone sings, precise, cool, articulate, clean and dry, in a Paul Desmond modeand in fact, Jensen's first CD for Origin was Sound of a Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond.
The edgiest-sounding tunewith the Bishop and Millar configurationis, surprisingly, the American Songbook classic "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise." It's a dark daybreak, a throbbing black cloud bass with low thunder drums, Jensen stabbing out a lightening melody with ragged jabs. This tune is followed up by a lovely and reverent reading of "East of the Sun," featuring the Findlay/Miller rhythm team, with a softly swinging, straight-ahead approach.
Trios is an outstanding set that walks a line between freedom and mainstream with remarkable beauty and aplomb.
Beautiful Love, Bemsha Swing, How Deep is the Ocean, Giant Steps, Softly As in a Morning
Sunrise, East of the Sun, Well You Needn't
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.