Freshwater Trio
Two members of Borealis String Quartet

Ingrid Jensen - photo: Hayley LamIngrid Jensen Quartet
Saturday, 14 August, 2010 @ 8:00pm • Norman Rothstein Theatre

Performers Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Dawn Clement, piano and vocals; Sean Cronin, bass; Jon Wikan, drums.

Reviewer David Powell

This concert was recorded for future broadcast on 'Canada Live' on CBC Radio 2 and 'Hot Air' on CBC Radio 1.

While most of the music performed by the Ingrid Jensen Quartet tonight was recently written, the group began with their take on the old classic, 'Take the "A" Train': longer and more dissonant than the original, but with fragments of the well-known melody bursting through from time to time.

While much of the concert explored similarly dissonant and rhythmically complex territory, the tune “66 Mike”, a piece by drummer (and Jensen's husband) Jon Wikan, was more tonal and traditional in harmony. The piece featured some lovely back-and-forth between piano and trumpet, then between piano and drums.

While the band didn't explore stylistic extremes, Jensen did explore extremes on her horn. She has a large sound palette, ranging from raspy whispers to wide open, warm, generous sounds. She enjoys playing the full range of the instrument too, often beginning phrases with a blistering high note and then falling precipitously to the instrument's depths. I particulary enjoyed Jensen's slow playing, such as in the concert-opening soliloquy and in the song “When the stars come out at night". In this piece she used looping to good effect, playing a haunting duet with herself. This piece also showcased the singing talents of the pianist, Dawn Clement, whose voice reminded me a bit of Blossom Dearie's.

During the concert Jensen mentioned a few artists who had influenced her during her formative years. One of their pieces, "Up", was dedicated to the late, great Freddie Hubbard, who once gave Jensen a trumpet lesson after she had snuck into a jazz bar as a teenager to hear him.

The concert ended with "At Sea", a piece written by Jensen and Wikan while they were in Alaska. The piece began with Jensen creating some ocean-like special effects on her horn, gradually rose to a climax, and then subsided, like a long, slow ocean swell.

© 2010 David Powell