Wellstone Conspiracy

Motives

origin 82560

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Brad Walseth, Jazz Chicago

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Idahoan and soprano saxophonist Brent Jensen teams up again for the second outing with three Seattle musicians: Bill Anschell (piano), John Bishop (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass) to create this true gem of a recording. This album entrances immediately from the start - beginning with Jensen's tribute to free jazz pioneer and Ornette Coleman drummer Ed Blackwell - "Bye Bye Blackwell." Jensen's soprano drifts in an unsettling manner over a repeated bass motif, before Anschell and Bishop spontaneously combust. Jensen returns with some compelling free directions and the band lurches and rumbles toward the song's ultimate and satisfying terminus.The band is highly interlocked and organic with each member adding important components, and Jensen's aching soprano the hub around which the spokes emanate. Anschell's "Phindango" follows and brings the music back to earth - sounding like an update on the classic '60s sounds of Shorter and Hancock that we love so well. "Anne Rose" (Jensen) and "Turbulator" (Anschell) continue to delve into this attractive vein with rewarding results. Meanwhile, bassist Johnson also contributes a strong composition - the delicious ballad "Portrait" - a true highlight on which he solos beautifully. Anschell's "Stories We Hold" waltzes along lightly, while Jensen's "Doop Dee Doop" is angular fun, and the album ends with a dark Anschell arrangement of Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing." Did the government really cause Sen. Wellstone's place to crash with a burst from an EMP device? That we may not know, but at least we have a recording of intriguing jazz with which to serve as soundtrack to our contemplation.






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