The Canadian sisters, trumpeter Ingrid and saxophonist Christine, have Ben Monder on guitar, Fraser Hollins on bass and Jon Wikan on drums and an album entitled for the concept of boundless possibility. If the possibilities they explore on its ten tracks are not quite boundless, they’re still impressively extensive.
Five of the pieces are by Christine and distill her orchestral writing style down to the quintet instrumentation while maintaining its power to suggest and evoke both large spaces and large thoughts. They offer gloriously articulated stories for the players to interact with and expand upon. She is also, like someone like Oliver Nelson, a composerly improviser with beautifully structured solos. Ingrid’s compositions tend to be more fluid and less defined, using her trumpet and nuanced electronics to add to their impressionism. Monder contributes one tune and there is a lovely interpretation of Kenny Wheeler’s Old Time.
Ingrid speaks of “doing less and finding more” and that sums up this session beautifully. The arrangements are filled with air and light, allowing the listener to be completely enthralled with the gorgeous tone of both horns – and surely Christine has the most sumptuous alto sound ever? – and the sensitively interlocking rhythm pair. Monder is a hugely adaptable guitarist, one minute adding bell-like chords behind the horns, the next adding the grit of distortion to his sound for a solo which adds sparks and rough textures to contrast perfectly with the shining horn tones and full, rounded bass – you can hear all that on the opener, Blue Yonder.
Of course it might be inevitable, given the shared genes, but it’s still astonishing how the Jensen sisters sound so together in their harmony lines, and so effortlessly pass the improvised line back and forth between each other. There is lots more to talk about but the best advice I can give is: just buy it.
One of those albums that will grow and grow on you with each new listen.
Here are some acute insights from Ingrid into the methods behind Infinitude:
Categories: CD review