I always look forward to hearing and seeing trumpeter Ingrid Jensen whenever I am able. Sadly, due to life’s circumstances, I had last heard her live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, now two summers past.
So it was indeed an exciting opportunity to be in the same place, same time, at the Clermont Vineyards and Winery for Cheryl Jean’s Jazz in G-Town production to listen to her with her trio. Her mellow tone and distinctive phrasing over the years has reflected her inspiration, Miles Davis, but with her own filigree added. She certainly has staked out a major talent claim on the trumpet.
I had first seen and heard Ingrid over 20 years ago in Sherry Maricle’s all-women jazz orchestra, Diva. Later in 1999, French friends of mine, with a strong mission to interview female NYC musicians made an English speaking documentary for European TV called “Femmes de Jazz,” (Women of Jazz), and asked me to help produce it and suggest musicians. Ingrid Jensen was one of 20 women in that film, a standout talent then too, along with Rhinebeck resident cellist Akua Dixon, also a former Jazz in G-Town performer.
On the Thursday before the concert I screened “Femmes de Jazz” for a second time at Germantown’s library, for a very special audience: members of the Germantown High School Jazz Band. We were also able, through the intervention of the band leader/teacher Dan Galliher, and Jim Gibbons, whose children are in the band, to Skype with Ingrid. It was a wonderful Q & A. Needless to say I was thrilled and so pleased.
On Saturday, Jensen’s trio included the remarkable and versatile drummer, Matt Wilson, as well as the stirring Gary Versace on Hammond B organ. Each of the 7 or 8 compositions played, proved, once again, how listening to musicians live, creating in the moment, is a breathtaking experience. At the winery, music and talent came together in a shared, both challenging/comfort zone, in a very special intimate environment. One tune, based on the famous Woody Guthrie song, “This Land is My Land…” was transported from the familiar to another reality. So glad I was there to be a part of it! --Abby London