This album uses two
unusual trio instrumentations.
Three of the tracks feature alto sax, guitar and acoustic bass; the remaining cuts feature alto sax, acoustic bass and drums. Have a listen before you scoff ... they really work!
Brent Jensen has played alto sax with some of the country's standout jazz groups, including those fronted by Gene Harris, Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous and Joe La Barbara. Jensen achieves a sax tone that falls somewhere between Paul Desmond and Art Pepper, depending on the tune being played, and he has total command of his instrument.
Jensen isn't a screamer; he plays quietly, yet forcibly, and he swings like crazy.
One of these trios utilizes Jamie Findley (guitar) and Zac Matthews (bass). Both are members of the Acoustic Jazz Quartet, so they've played together for years.
This ensemble collaborates on three jazz standards: "Beautiful Love," "How Deep Is The Ocean" and "East Of The Sun." The interplay between the alto sax, guitar and bass is sensational, as is the give-and-take between guitar and bass.
The second trio features Jensen (sax), Doug Miller (bass) and John Bishop (drums). This ensemble handles the up-tempo numbers, and the results are equally enjoyable.
Miller's underlying bass line and solo work are breathtaking - particularly the bowed bass solo in "Softly" - and Bishop's tasty drumming always supports, and adds to, each arrangement.
Origin has released several other CDs featuring Jensen. If you're as impressed as I am, you'll want to seek 'em out.