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Christine Jensen: Collage

On Jensen’s CD, Collage, what might seem at first to be just another run-of-the-mill mainstream album with inept packaging is actually a carefully layered work that reveals new musical vistas with each listening. Jensen’s sextet includes Miller and Jannuska as well as trumpeter Ingrid Jensen (her older sister), pianist Brad Turner, bassist Fraser Hollins.

Jensen’s tone reveals the influence of such hard-bop masters as Jackie McLean and Charles McPherson, although she is not afraid to show a softer side as well. On uptempo numbers the performances allude to the razor-sharp 1980s bop of Wynton Marsalis or Tom Harrell. The several tunes with medium-slow or slow grooves yield a more coloristic approach from the ensemble.

Jensen’s compositions are emotional and sometimes convoluted affairs, and provide ample room for soloists. Take, for example, “Sweet Adelphi,” a midtempo ballad in which the melody after a while seems to merge with the improvisation, creating the impression of an aural collage.

Collage is a solid effort from the lesser-known but also-talented Jensen sister.

Originally Published