Ingrid & Christine Jensen – Infinitude
(Whirlwind Recordings. WR4694. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)
Sisters Christine and Ingrid Jensen have teamed up for their first combined small-group release on Whirlwind, playing saxophones and trumpet respectively. They are joined by Ben Monder on guitars, bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Jon Wikan in what sounds like a live, collaborative venture. The music they create is open and spacious, with an understated quality.
Ingrid plays a custom-made trumpet set-up with a ‘flugel-cupped mouthpiece and “flumpet” bell’, giving her sound a rich, mellifluous quality, and the CD includes Old Time by compatriot Kenny Wheeler, who regularly played flugel. That track has a slight jazz-rock influence, aided by Monder’s distorted guitar.
Elsewhere the music has some folk and country inflections. The record opens with Ingrid Jensen playing a finger-piano, though the rest of Blue Yonder is firmly in quiet jazz territory. Hopes Trail is gently lyrical with firm country roots.
Several tracks are more abstract, as if part of an ongoing conversation between the musicians. Duo Space, featuring Ingrid Jensen and Monder, sounds improvised, the two musicians bouncing ideas of each other. Monder’s treated guitar acts as a foil for Jensen’s runs from high to low and back again. On Trio:Garden Hour, Monder backs both Christine and Ingrid Jensen, with Christine’s soprano evoking bird calls.
The closing number Dots And Braids, written by Ingrid, is reminiscent of Maria Schneider’s writing, albeit on a smaller scale. Ingrid has played with Schneider’s big band, and Christine names her as an influence. Much of the music on this CD had the same sense of space as Schneider’s work – haunting melodies with a big horizon.