The Thirteenth Assembly was founded as a touring collective that appeals to promoters' predilection for booking multiple acts on a single night. Guitarist Mary Halvorson, violist Mary Halvorson/Jessica Pavone Duo, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Tomas Fujiwara have longstanding duo and trio permutations and to end their concerts, they convene as a quartet and have forged a distinct identity from the subgroups within.
Halvorson's brief, wistful "Unfinished Ballad" opens the CD, but Pavone's "Army of Strangers" is a better introduction. The insouciantly syncopated viola/cornet theme floats over a funky vamp from the guitarist's bass-like line and Fujiwara's thick groove. Diffuse abstraction introduces Bynum's "Bird Dog," but form eventually emerges with a driving beat and distorted guitar supporting a dramatic brass/string theme. Conversely, Halvorson's "Pinched" opens with bashing drums and a staccato theme and the line lengthens until it's broken by drum fills, eliciting spare viola and cornet smears for the fade away.
Fujiwara's "Chantal" starts amorphously, then he lays down a fleet Latin-y beat for Halvorson's repeating single-note run, accented by plucked viola under a soaring cornet. The intensity builds with denser strumming, devolving to a freer section with distorted, spacey guitar textures, before an elegant horn emerges for gentle denouement. A bent guitar and quasi-folksy viola theme characterize Pavone's "Hate Fields," cornet providing textural harmonic contrast and drums marking the lugubrious tempo.
With committed performances drawn from intertwined histories and diverse stylistic influences, The Thirteenth Assembly exemplifies how a practical strategy can reveal a novel creative opportunity.
Unfinished Ballad; Army of Strangers; Bird Dog; P#2; Pinched; Chantal; Too Sweet; Never Before; Hate Fields.
Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet; Jessica Pavone: viola; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.