John Jensen, trombonist
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upcoming performances and events


John Jensen performs with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and recently made a historic tour to Egypt, which included performances at the Giza Pyramids and at both the Cairo and Alexandria Opera Houses. John has been a featured performer at the White House, the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington DC, and the Kennedy Center. John has performed with the McCoy Tyner Big Band and has been featured alongside Urbie Green, Milt Hinton, Stephanie Nakasian, Hod O'Brien and Danny Gatton to name just a few. He performs frequently with his quartet for concerts, clubs and private parties in the metropolitan DC area and throughout the East Coast. He has been featured at jazz parties throughout the USA. Additionally, he was lead trombonist and a featured soloist with the United States Navy Band Commodores for 12 years. John played for 10 years with John Previti's "Mingus/Monk Tribute Band" and also is featured with the group Chaise Lounge.

Shifting Views is the name of John's most recent recording. Recorded on the Patuxent Records label this CD features a sterling rhythm section and the saxophone of Bruce Swaim.

Homecoming is an earlier recording of John's. In the tradition of a "blowing date" Jensen and bandmates Hod O'Brien on piano and bassist Steve Gilmore play great tunes from the American songbook. Additional players on this recording include drummer Brooks Tegler, percussionist Seguito Turner and guitarist Steve Abshire.

John maintains a busy schedule as a performer and teacher. He conducts clinics on the trombone, improvisation and careers in the business of music.

John has been involved with a number of recording projects, including multi-percussionist Tom Teasley's latest CD entitled "Painting Time" featuring John on Double bell euphonium, conch shells, didgeridoo as well as trombone.

More About John...


"Jensen has chops to burn, but he also has good taste and great feeling for the music….. Jensen's fluid slide work and easy-going phrasing always swing. This album takes you to the essence of jazz and never deviates from the truth."

Owen Cordle - JazzTimes May 2000

"…nothing superfluous here, just straight ahead, small combo jazz performed with care and spirit… Jensen is careful to give the melodies their due, favoring a warm yet agile tone, a series of truly engaging performances"

Mike Joyce - The Washington Post

"Homecoming is an entertaining mix of talented musicians and great standards. John blends his Rosolino-like technique with a J.J.-like fluency and grace that makes it all sound so effortless. Give this CD a listen-it's a treat."

George Broussard - International Trombone Journal


  1. real audio sample Yours is My Heart Alone
  2. real audio sample Shifting Views
  3. real audio sample A Flower is a Lovesome Thing
  4. At Last
  5. Tricotism
  6. Sidewalks of New York
  7. Jonathan and the Dinosaurs
  8. One Morning in May
  9. Jordu
  10. Natalie's Bounce
  11. Seasons of the Soul

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John Jensen trombone & doublebell euphonium
Dave Wundrow bass
Steve Abshire guitar
Mike Shepherd drums
Robert Redd piano
Bruce Swaim tenor saxophone

A new CD by jazz trombonist John Jensen is cause for celebration. If you're not hip to this D.C. brass man, you can catch up quick by checking out his previous disc "Homecoming," which showed how a modern, mainstream trombonist can swing with feeling, taste and wit. Like his past efforts as leader and sideman, this new collection of standards and originals displays Jensen's mighty sound with the fluid technical facility that makes him one of the most highly regarded and sought after trombonists in the nation's capital.

The musical kicks begin with an unlikely source-a rendition of Franz Lehar's popular art song Yours Is My Heart Alone from his 1929 operetta The Land of Smiles. Jensen, Swaim and Abshire eat up the challenging changes as the arrangement shifts between a brisk 6/8 jazz-latin and straight 4/4 time. Jensen and guitarist Steve Abshire are then featured on their original Shifting Views, a 12-bar blues eminiscent of the Sam Jones classic Unit 7. Listen for the clever key change at the beginning of each solo, and the way that Abshire and Jensen telepathically finish each other's phrases. Their daring, unaccompanied contrapuntal conversation is one of the highlights of this date.

The leader's distinctive tone and vibrato are showcased on the two ballads: drummer Mike Shepherd's lovely, bittersweet Seasons of the Soul, and the tough and tender arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's harmonically sumptuous A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing. Other stand-out moments include the trombonist's up-on-the-tightrope duet with bassist Wundrow on Duke Jordan's Jordu, the breezy bossa arrangement of the 1940's ballad At Last, Jensen's muted cry on the catchy Jonathan and the Dinosaurs, his use of the double bell euphonium and the surprising extra measures in the melody of Oscar Pettiford's Tricotism, and the waltz treatment of Hoagy Carmichael's undeservedly obscure gem One Morning In May. The penultimate tune, Natalie's Bounce, is another barnburner: I'm not sure who Natalie is, but I'm guessing she's one swinging Hoosier.

If you want to delve a little further into the mind of Jensen, check all the stream-of-consciousness musical quotes in his trombone solos. I won't spoil your fun, but try to find exactly where and in which tunes he creatively inserts quotes from Opus One, Idaho, It Might As Well Be Spring, and the amusingly self-deprecating If I Only Had A Brain. You can tell this was a fun date for the musicians. We can all look forward to celebrating their next get together.

Larry Appelbaum WPFW-FM JazzTimes

  1. real audio sample That Old Feeling
  2. real audio sample Polka Dots and Moonbeams
  3. real audio sample Exactly Like You
  4. But Not For Me
  5. In A Sentimental Mood
  6. Time After Time
  7. Alone Together
  8. Blues Among Friends
  9. I Thought About You
  10. (MP3) Nobody Else But Me
  11. real audio sample You Don't Know What Love Is

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Personnel include: John Jensen, trombone - Hod O'Brien, piano - Steve Gilmore, bass - Steve Abshire, guitar - Brooks Tegler, drums and Seguito Turner, percussion.



To inquire regarding bookings for concerts or clinics, or to be put on a mailing list, contact John at (703) 503-8606 or send an e-mail .

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