From Frontier Psychiatrist:
Mary Halvorson might be tired of people arguing about what constitutes jazz, but she’s certainly not tired. The prolific, genre-defying, avant-garde, New York-via-Boston guitarist not only leads a trio, quartet, and septet, but she plays solo, having released tremendous records like 2012’s Bending Bridges that saw her appeal to noise fans just as much as jazz fans. Her latest venture is Thumbscrew, her new band with drummer Tomas Fujiwara and double bassist Michael Formanek (“The name is fitting because parts of the music can be gritty and intense,” Halvorson says). Thumbscrew’s eponymous debut album was released in January, and it’s not a huge departure from Halvorson’s work with her other bands. While Fujiwara’s drums might not be as virtuosic as those of Ches Smith (drummer for Halvorson’s bands and Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog), Thumbscrew, like Halvorson’s music and career as a whole, juxtaposes, for lack of a better term, the jazzy with the crazy. It allows her, Fujiwara, and Formanek to showcase their individual talents while simultaneously exemplifying the flow and chemistry they’ve come to develop from multiple years of rehearsing and recording.