eMusic Review 1
Mary Halvorson has kept busy since stepping out as a bandleader toward the end of 2000s. Quite aside from her active career as a guitar-slinging sidewoman (see Tomas Fujiawara’s recent albums), she has at least three working bands under her own name. And that doesn’t count her as-yet unrecorded supergroup with avant-jazz guitarist Marc Ribot, either.
There’s her power trio, which recorded Dragon’s Head — and vaulted her into the modern jazz front-guard — in 2008. Soon after, Halvorson expanded the group into a quintet, adding alto sax and trumpet, and used it to turn out the brilliant album Saturn Sings. More recently, the guitarist/composer has pumped her working band into a septet: though that’s not what we hear on this, the third disc of Halvorson-written compositions — all of which bear “opus”-like numbers, in a fashion reminiscent of her mentor, Anthony Braxton.
Bending Bridges is, mostly, her quintet at work once again, with a couple of moments for trio sprinkled in for effect. The composer has shown a penchant for starting albums off with a pensive gait — the better to dramatize the inevitable rise to a steaming boil — but “Sinks When She Rounds The Bend (No. 22)” is her… read more »