Personnel: Brent Jensen (soprano saxophone); Bill Anschell (piano); John Bishop (drums).
Audio Mixer: Floyd Reitsma.
Recording information: Avast Studios, Seattle, WA (01/14/2009).
The mostly Seattle-based quartet Wellstone Conspiracy originally formed from notables on the Seattle scene backing up Idaho-based sax player Brent Jensen on a 2006 album. With their sophomore release, the group formed a more democratic name and continued their deep presentation of Northwest jazz at its purest. There's a careful interplay between the classic sorts of sounds encapsulating the urban nightclub aesthetic and more open, smooth, and exploratory elements. It's a fine line to walk between free jazz and urban cool, but these musicians have been at the core of the Northwest sound for some time, and it comes out in their compositions (mostly from pianist Bill Anschell and Jensen), as well as their playing styles. It makes for excellent listening -- at the same time ambient and melodic, experimental and traditional, and constantly enjoyable. ~ Adam Greenberg