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Forever - 2007


Feeling a bit camera shy


Pulling from the late Idaho jazz and blues pianist Gene Harris this trio puts out a sound like the Ray Brown Trio, while still keeping underpinnings to the Bill Evans style of trio playing. Unafraid of approaching more recent pop tunes as well as pulling out songs from the American Songbook this trio spans a diverse set of tunes and emotions in their music.

Tom Jensen, the bassist, and Damien Bard, the drummer, have known each other since elementary school days, growing up in the same neighborhood, and it shows in their playing together. There is a trust between them that comes from knowing each other and growing up under the same influences. In the 1980's they went to Ste. Chapelle Winery to listen to the Ray Brown Trio. "I didn't realize what I was hearing at the time, but now looking back I see that is an anchor for both Damien and I in how we approach the trio setting. They had a huge sound and we try to get at those same elements in our trio."

Justin comes from a musical family and didn't play jazz until he was nearly finished with his bachelor's degree in piano performance. The sounds and ideas of jazz grabbed hold of Justin and have never let go. He brings to the table his classical chops to give him unfettered access to expression of his emotional ideas in his solos that audiences have come to look for and love. The late Gene Harris' wife, Janie Harris, had this to say about Justin: "Gene Harris played because he loved it. He gave everything he had to give when he performed. It was never a job to him. Justin has that same rare quality. He gives all he has to give when he plays. It's not just a job to him, it's a passion. He can play like Gene if he wants to, but he has his own unique style which is the essence of jazz. Justin is a gentleman, a true professional and is committed to raising the standard of Jazz..."

Original tunes penned by Tom help bring focus to the trio's sound. "Whenever I sit down to write a tune it is always for a specific voice. I never write unless I have a group or person in mind that will perform the piece. The tunes that we have put in our books that I've written are either written specifically for the trio or lend themselves to the sound the trio is striving for." The tunes range from the infectious, good-time feeling of "Late in the Evening" to the tragic "The Last Time" and the quirky, but catchy, "Paranoia".

Their first recording has come with positive reviews from many people including Jazz and Pop singer/saxophonist Curtis Stigers ( "The arrangements are clever and soulful, the musicianship is great, as I expected, but the big surprise is the songwriting: these are some very sophisticated, melodic tunes. I did not expect such quality songwriting, such lovely songs."