5

Mary Halvorson Septet: Illusionary Sea

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Mary Halvorson Septet: Illusionary Sea Guitarist Mary Halvorson's signature sound and methodologies have been making an impact within avant-garde and progressive-jazz circles on a global basis. Illusionary Sea marks the debut of her septet, comprised of impressionable players often residing at the forefront of the newer kindling of what may loosely be classified as jazz. Here, like minds coalesce for an album that crosses jazz, classical and avant-garde frontiers, via Halvorson's intriguing compositions and oscillating, wave-like arrangements that rarely inhabit a continuous plane.

The guitarist steers the festivities with unorthodox chord clusters and nimble single note lines that sometimes drift into the ozone on her liquefying fade-outs. Many of these works are cohesively structured to complement the improvisational element. With quaintly organized melodies and cheery themes, it's an adventuresome gala, as the septet crosses borders amid variable tempos that ride along a bouncy path.

"Red Sky Still Sea (no. 31)" is a temperate blues driven piece, featuring soft horns and a flourishing line of attack. But many of these works tender variable levels of intensity and pitch, constructed with intersecting passageways and layered horn arrangements. It's a polytonal endeavor that toggles between conventional modern jazz practices, with free form soloing jaunts, and classical-type austerity.

Nascent trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson's passionate and articulately expressed solo on "Fourth Dimensional Confession (no. 41)," is tinted with regal progressions, riding atop the offbeat background deviations by the hornists and drummer Ches Smith's rolling toms patterns. Yet this piece eventually emerges as a thematic opus, perhaps conducive for a cinematic musical score, and Halvorson's brisk linear lines and slurring choruses generate an off- the-wall outlook. However, the storyline equates to a rite of passage of sorts.

Halvorson's technical mark of distinction and multidimensional compositions are complex, yet uncannily attainable, even when considering the outside jazz perspective. We can only imagine what looms ahead for this extraordinary artiste.


Track Listing: Illusionary Sea (no. 33); Smiles of Great Men (no. 34); Red Sky Still Sea (no. 31); Four Pages of Robots (no. 30); Fourth Dimensional Confession (no. 41); Butterfly Orbit (no. 32); Nairam.

Personnel: Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Jon Irabagon; alto saxophone; Ingrid Laubrock; tenor saxophone; Jacob Garchik: trombone; Mary Halvorson: guitar; John Hebert: bass; Ches Smith: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Firehouse 12 Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Dark Territory" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Territory
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Un Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review Un Viaje
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!