Bassist & Composer
"A master at crafting accessible, yet charmingly idiosyncratic, songs"
Award winning bassist, composer and Shifting Paradigm recording artist John Christensen supplies an open-hearted solidity and adventurous spirit to all of his music endeavors. With an appetite for expressing in many musical genres and situations, John has found a unique compositional voice, as demonstrated on his highly acclaimed debut album as a leader, Dear Friend.
While an ardent student and practitioner of improvised Black American Music, John’s music also has deep roots in Rock, Folk, and Americana. Content to have his bass playing compared to Charlie Haden’s lyricism, as in reviews for Johannes Wallmann’s latest album Precarious Towers, he’s also happy to have comparisons difficult to find. His compositions strive toward a hopefulness and appreciation for the beauty and awe of life, and the wonder of small, important things.
John Christensen began his bass studies with Chris Wood in high school. After brief stints at Berklee College and North Texas, John moved to San Francisco and played in the burgeoning music scene during the late 90’s. Since Moving to Wisconsin in 1999 John has become a highly sought-after side musician, playing with numerous regional and international artists and bands. He leads his own groups and is also a co-founder of Lesser Lakes Trio with longtime collaborators Devin Drobka and Jamie Breiwick as well as KASE, an improvised hip hop trio with Jamie and Turntablist Jordan Lee.
Longtime Madison bassist and composer John Christensen took his time to release his debut album, but the wait makes the fruit of this labor all the more enjoyable as his quartet traverse diverse musical terrain that sound not quite like anything else and yet somehow familiar.
"...rarely does a debut record sound as mature and intriguing as Dear Friend does."
"Everything benefits from the remarkable trust between this group, especially how they give each other space."
"One of the most joyful albums I've listened to this year..."