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Monday, October 31, 2016

CD Review: Ingrid and Christine Jensen – Infinitude

Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, effects & kalimba), Christine Jensen (alto & soprano saxophones), Ben Monder (electric guitar & hammertone guitar), Fraser Hollins (acoustic bass) & Jon Wikan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The Jensen sisters have previously worked in small group settings and written for larger jazz ensembles. Infinitude – the concept of boundless possibility – is the Canadians’ CD recording debut for Whirlwind Recordings. Ten tracks, five written by Christine Jensen, three by her younger sibling Ingrid, one by guitarist Ben Monder, and the most welcome inclusion of Old Time composed by ex-pat Canadian, the late Kenny Wheeler, this is an album of fine writing and sublime musicianship.

The quintet – the Jensens, bassist Fraser Hollins, drummer Jon Wikan and guitarist Ben Monder – have close personal ties and working relationships: trumpeter Ingrid and Jon Wikan a married couple, the Jensens and Ben Monder a shared experience in the music making of Paul Motian and Maria Schneider. The playing on this new Whirlwind album is that of listening, schooled section players, their solo contributions subservient to their collective endeavour. Christine Jensen’s Blue Yonder and Swirlaround open the CD with the composer heard playing alto saxophone on the former and soprano on the latter. The muted trumpet of Ingrid sets the mood for Monder’s beautifully judged guitar playing on Swirlaround underpinned by Wikan’s deep groove.
Monder’s Echolalia hears Ingrid’s free-flowing trumpet, Christine Jensen’s Octofolk is a conversation piece between the composer (alto) and Monder (guitar) and Duo Space frees Ingrid Jensen to explore an echoing, distant dreamscape. Margareta engages a restrained swing time feel; Christine (alto) solos, then Ingrid, and late into the piece comes Monder with another outstanding contribution. Closing the recording is Ingrid Jensen’s Dots and Braids; Lyrical, languid, masterful playing by the quintet.                         
Russell.

Infinitude by Ingrid and Christine Jensen is available now on Whirlwind Recordings (WR4994).      

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