Listening Tip: Ingrid Jensen, Benny Green


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On his Jazz Northwest program this weekend, Jim Wilke will be playing the Ingrid Jensen-Benny Green concert that he recorded at the Port Townsend Festival in July. The trumpeter and the pianist appeared with drummer Jon Wikan, Dawn Clement on Fender Rhodes piano and bassist David Wong. According to Wilke's alert to the broadcast, the band “brought the near capacity crowd to its feet at the end of the concert." Photo by Jim Levitt

I wasn't at Port Townsend this year, but the audience reaction Jim describes is no surprise. Three years ago, at The Seasons in Yakima, Washington, I heard what I think was Jensen's and Green's first joint appearance. This is some of what I posted shortly after.
When I arrived home after a post-concert hang late Saturday night, I found this message from a musician friend:
Has there ever been a better concert at the Seasons than the Ingrid Jensen one this evening?

No. I have attended most of the jazz and classical events at The Seasons in its nearly two years of operation. I have heard wonderful performances in that former church, with its dramatic domed space and nearly perfect acoustics, but none better than when Jensen, the gifted Canadian trumpeter, and pianist Benny Green got together in a one-off collaboration. Creative sparks flew.

It is impossible to analyze with accuracy what is responsible for a performance that rises above even the usual excellence of artists of the quality of Jensen, Green, Jon Wikan and Russ Botten. I have a notion that what fired it up in this instance was the depth and unusual makeup of Green's accompanying chords in the first piece, and the way he applied them rhythmically. The harmonic changes in his comping stimulated Jensen to daring ideas that she incorporated in long, flowing melodic lines through the entire concert. The range and virtuosity of her trumpet and flugelhorn playing are givens. What I am emphasizing is the lyric and melodic content of her improvisations.

To read all of the July, 2007, Rifftides review, go here.

I have no idea whether their 2010 encounter reached those heights, but I wouldn't miss the opportunity to find out. Jazz Northwest will air at 1 o'clock PDT Sunday afternoon, September 12, on KPLU-FM (88.5) in the Seattle Tacoma area. For internet listeners, it will stream live on the station's website. Click on “Listen Now."

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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