MARY HALVORSON

Avant-Garde Jazz / 21st Century Modern / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Jazz Related Improv/Composition • United States
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One of improvised music’s most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her “a singular talent” (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), ”NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz—or otherwise” (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper‘s Shaun Brady adds, “Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style.”

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton’s recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his band
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Tangle of StarsTangle of Stars
New Amsterdam 2019
$12.99
The Maid With The Flaxen HairThe Maid With The Flaxen Hair
Tzadik 2018
$12.48
$24.52 (used)
Contemporary Chaos PracticesContemporary Chaos Practices
Intakt Records 2018
$13.25
$18.41 (used)
MeltframeMeltframe
Firehouse 12 Records 2016
$21.73
$21.98 (used)
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MARY HALVORSON Discography

MARY HALVORSON albums / top albums

MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson And Jessica Pavone ‎: Prairies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson And Jessica Pavone ‎: Prairies
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
MARY HALVORSON On And Off (with Jessica Pavone) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
On And Off (with Jessica Pavone)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
MARY HALVORSON Calling All Portraits (with Jessica Pavone, Devin Hoff, Ches Smith) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Calling All Portraits (with Jessica Pavone, Devin Hoff, Ches Smith)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Trio: Dragon's Head album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mary Halvorson Trio: Dragon's Head
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
MARY HALVORSON Crackleknob album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crackleknob
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
MARY HALVORSON Thin Air (with Jessica Pavone) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thin Air (with Jessica Pavone)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Quintet: Saturn Sings album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Mary Halvorson Quintet: Saturn Sings
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
MARY HALVORSON Departure of Reason (with Jessica Pavone) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Departure of Reason (with Jessica Pavone)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson / Kirk Knuffke / Matt Wilson : Sifter album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson / Kirk Knuffke / Matt Wilson : Sifter
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Septet ‎: Illusionary Sea album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mary Halvorson Septet ‎: Illusionary Sea
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
MARY HALVORSON Reverse Blue album cover 3.98 | 3 ratings
Reverse Blue
21st Century Modern 2014
MARY HALVORSON Meltframe album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Meltframe
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson & Noël Akchoté album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson & Noël Akchoté
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Octet : Away With You album cover 4.43 | 2 ratings
Mary Halvorson Octet : Away With You
21st Century Modern 2016
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Quartet ‎: Paimon - Book Of Angels Volume 32 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson Quartet ‎: Paimon - Book Of Angels Volume 32
21st Century Modern 2017
MARY HALVORSON Code Girl album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Code Girl
21st Century Modern 2018
MARY HALVORSON The Maid With The Flaxen Hair—A Tribute To Johnny Smith album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Maid With The Flaxen Hair—A Tribute To Johnny Smith
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2018
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson / Joe Morris : Traversing Orbits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson / Joe Morris : Traversing Orbits
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson & John Dieterich : Tangle of Stars album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson & John Dieterich : Tangle of Stars
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

MARY HALVORSON EPs & splits

MARY HALVORSON live albums

MARY HALVORSON Opulence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Opulence
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Trio ‎: Ghost Loop album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mary Halvorson Trio ‎: Ghost Loop
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson, Noël Akchoté ‎: Live In Strasbourg album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mary Halvorson, Noël Akchoté ‎: Live In Strasbourg
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2016

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MARY HALVORSON Reviews

MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Octet : Away With You

Album · 2016 · 21st Century Modern
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js
On her latest CD, “Away With You”, Mary Halvorson expands beyond her usual small group format and utilizes a full octet, and the end result is one of the best albums of her still growing career. Mary is already well known as an interesting improviser and composer, but with this new mini-big band, Halverson shows she is also a superb arranger and manipulator of large ensembles. Many of the pieces on here morph and change in organic ways that are difficult to write out, instead, much like previous masters such as Ellington and Mingus, Halvorson has learned the fine art of leading an ensemble through abstract communication while the improvising process is taking place. The end result is an ensemble that can move together as one mind.

With so many musicians to work with, Mary achieves a myriad of tone colors on “Away With You”, and often breaks the group down into small duos and trios. The icing on the tone color cake is pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, who often meshes with Halvorson’s guitar in ways that make it hard to tell which one is which. Fortunately the steel guitar is not used for ironic kitsch, instead, Alcorn is a serious avant-garde improviser on the pedal steel, and pulls some wonderful effects out of the snaky instrument. The group improvising on here is very much in a jazz vein, but the head tunes often draw on modern concert hall music, as well as marches and processions. Once again there is a possible parallel to Mingus here, but in all fairness, Mary’s music really does not sound much like Mingus, even though they have some similar approaches.

Like much of today’s jazz, “Away With You” can be a bit dry and abstract, but the band also produces some serious heat with blistering saxophone solos on “Spirit Splitter” and “The Absolute Almost”, which are also two of the best tracks on the album. Another interesting cut is the murky atmosphere of “Fog Bank”, which features Alcorn’s slowly meandering steel guitar. If you are looking for whats new in the world of jazz, “Away With You” is a great place to start.

MARY HALVORSON Reverse Blue

Album · 2014 · 21st Century Modern
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Mary Halvorson is with no doubt most popular modern advanced female jazz guitarist. With her new band (all members are still part of same "new American avant-garde jazz" cohort) she makes next step refining her usual very individual music.

Band's debut album, "Reverse Blue" opens with few winks of baroque dance but right after switches to rock-jazz distorted guitar's shred. Opener (as well as some other album's songs) is well composed and perfectly works as advanced jazz piece and avant-rock song at the same time.

One can say it's a feminine take on guitar jazz what makes Mary's music so personal. Not sure but it's really better illustrated by her heavier compositions where with no relation to hot-burning drama music in whole stays surprisingly very relaxed and well controlled.

Well-balanced and inventive quartet plays ten originals (half comes solely from Halvarson),all are well calculated and executed. Probably (as on some her other albums) main problem of the music still is that tranquil equilibrium - some injections of adrenaline here and there would save compositions from some appreciable sameness.

"Ego Man", central album's point,trims well-balanced but a bit too repetitive songs' series with Chris Speed's tenor soloing and opens a way for new music sides coming after.Second album's part is more diverse even if some dose of additional adrenaline would be probably desired as well."Really OK" is a beautiful elegant waltz and the closer "Resting On Laurels" sounds as dreamy tasteful miniature

Being a Mary Halvorson's music fan,I am familiar with almost every her album - and always waiting for new to come. Almost every of already released works contains some great moments and some not so great - and this rule is as sturdy as year's seasons change.A small step to being a really great album,"Reverse Blue" is intelligent and accessible listening opening new layers after every another spin.

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