2024 JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR (SOLO) | Christine Jensen | | The JUNO Awards

We’ve witnessed and heard testimonies from countless musicians who were forced to struggle—financially and artistically—through the lockdowns of the pandemic. For some who have survived, there’s been the silver lining of a shift in perspective. Many artists dug deep in isolation and discovered the solution to long-elusive mysteries. Some let go of the tried-and-true and instead explored new means of expression. In June of this year, the exceptional alto and soprano saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen released the compelling Day Moon with her impressive quartet. The music is at turns, melancholic and ebullient, sober and playful. It’s a date where she creates an improvisational community of close friends in quartet and duo settings. “I got hit hard by the pandemic because I felt alone and was not doing what I’m supposed to do,” Jensen says. “So, I focused on my saxophones, teaching myself to present my sound, my solo voice. It’s almost like becoming the vocalist.” Highlights of the album feature the duo spots with pianist Steve Amirault, including the short-and-sweet torrent of the playful “Balcony Rules” based on “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and the gem of the album, the gorgeous rendering of Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day.”