Mary Smiles, Saturn Sings

They may seem thorny, but the intersecting lines Mary Halvorson uses to build her pieces are as sound as they are elaborate – this former student of Anthony Braxton and Joe Morris has a knack for innovative architecture, and each tune is a nest of ideas. On the new Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12) the guitarist augments those lines with horns played by Jon Irabagon and Jonathan Finlayson, and comes away with an alluring program that doesn’t mind scratching its way toward eloquence. Best of all, its oddity sounds natural. That’s pretty much the definition of unique, no? Check the shards flying around “Mile High Like” to discover how freedom can be harnessed without being haltered. She and the quintet (bassist John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith are the heartbeat) are playing at Barbes on Thursday night with the brass ‘n’ reeds. Who’s up for a set of provocative puzzles? Here’s the link to a Roulette hit by the fivesome.

My DownBeat review

3 responses to “Mary Smiles, Saturn Sings

  1. Hi Jim,

    I’ll self-servingly mention that Mary was on The Jazz Session last week talking about her new record:

    All the best,


  2. thanks for doing so, and deepening the post, JC. – macnie

  3. Pingback: » GUEST POST: Mary Halvorson on Robert Wyatt & Indirect Influence destination: OUT

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