What caught my attention from the first time I heard album was the silky-smooth blending of tonality this jazz quartet presents. The interplay between instruments (soprano sax, piano, bass, and drums) is balanced in such a way that one initially forgets there are four individual voices, and yet, upon further analysis, the skillfulness of each performer becomes apparent.

The opening tune, Sweet and Lovely, hints at modal journeys, while other selections such as Birks Works have what might be described as smoky and sultry tones. The more up-tempo Punt, and to a lesser degree E.J., contain more driven tempos with a nice bounce that allow the group to really demonstrate their ensemble skills. Alone Together maintains a counterpoint structure of sorts that at once seems freeform but skillfully maintains momentum, showcasing the piano and sax voicing.

Jensen, director of jazz studies at the College of Southern Idaho, mentions in his liner notes that “every performance is another step… one more mile of the journey.” This album reflects that notion quite well: The selections take the listener on a pleasant musical journey, one that I recommend you traverse for yourself.

Brent Jensen ’89
Origin Records
Seattle, WA