From Improvised Communications:
Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson earned a double-dose of praise in the latest issue of the British jazz magazine, Jazz Review. Editor Brian Morton interviewed her for a feature article entitled “The Wind Cries Mary…” in which he wrote, “Halvorson’s sound is immediately distinctive, viscerally powerful and, yes, intriguingly ‘anti-guitar’.”
When discussing Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), her forthcoming debut as a bandleader, he added, “She produces the sounds necessary to each piece by whatever technique seems best suited. It’s richly nuanced music and testimony to Halvorson’s refreshing belief that making a record isn’t just about documenting one more stage in the process and then moving blithely on. It’s a powerful experience…”
As it happens, another of the U.K.’s great jazz writers, Philip Clark, also weighed in on the new disc in the issue’s review section.
He wrote, “…this music is allusive and anti-catchy in a very catchy way. The wide melodic leaps characteristic of her playing evoke Dolphy and the transparent complexity of her lines are oddly reminiscent of Ornette, and liberation replaces stuffy jazz political correctness. Here’s a young musician entirely comfortable in her own skin – she’s closer to the true spirit of jazz than many who self-consciously mull over its past glories, but end up fiddling with licks.”
Finally, keeping with the Brit theme, this week’s episode of BBC 3’s Jazz on 3 featured a track from Dragon’s Head. Host Jez Nelson called the music “endearingly eccentric” and described Halvorson herself as “a New York guitarist who’s definitely on the rise.” You can hear the entire episode online on the show’s Web site through next Monday.
Dragon’s Head will be released on October 28th and the Mary Halvorson Trio will perform in celebration at Brooklyn’s Barbès on November 12th.