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January/February 2004

Ingrid Jensen Project O
Now as Then
Justin Time Records

From Project O, a trio co-led by the Canadian-born trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, comes an organ date with more emphasis on original material. Now As Then (Justin Time) features the confident, risk-taking soloist Jensen with organist Gary Versace and drummer Jon Wikan. The three core members are joined along the way by saxophonists Seamus Blake, Steve Wilson and Christine Jensen (Ingrid's sister). Following an initially odd-metered arrangement of "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," the band works out over modern, well-developed tunes by each band member as well as a waltz by Blake ("Periwinkle") and a stormy finale by Christine Jensen ("Dilemma"). Versace's moody, straight-eighth piece "Now As Then" is in fact the only time we hear the trio alone, without guest soloists. Among the highlights are two Wikan/ Jensen cocreations: "Silver Prelude/Silver Twilight," a waltz featuring Steve Wilson's alto flute; and "R Hour," a mellow swing chart with a devil or two in the details (namely a nine-bar A section and an AAB form). Besides the opening standard, there's one other cover, and an inspired one: Mary Lou Williams' "Gloria," heard in a light but spirited funk feel.

Originally published in January/February 2004
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