Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

One of the year’s most eagerly anticipated albums, the Mary Halvorson Quintet’s Bending Bridges has its work cut out for it in topping the band’s 2010 poll favorite, Saturn Sings. But the new recording, which benefits from the band’s first serious stretch of playing together live, is even deeper and edgier than its predecessor. It confirms Halvorson as an artist whose originality as a guitarist is no fiercer than her originality as a writer. Simply put, no one is making music like this.

You never know how Halvorson’s songs, scripted adventures in sound, will unfold. That has been especially true since she expanded from the trio on Dragon’s Head, the 2008 album on which she launched her current cycle of compositions, to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon. In addition to giving her a wider palette to work with, the horns have enabled her to expand her vision as an arranger.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published