Downbeat Gives Five Stars To Mary Halvorson’s Adventurous New LPs
Downbeat writes that “there are two levels of composition in jazz — first, the formal realm of tunes and arrangements, and second, the spontaneous magic of improvisation. With her twin solo albums Amaryllis and Belladonna, Mary Halvorson proves that she’s top-of-the-field on both fronts, operating in two distinctly different milieus.” Amaryllis, which the site compares to work by Carla Bley, “uses something more like a conventional jazz combo, built around drums, bass, vibes and horns, with string quartet sweetening only its second half,” while “Belladonna, by contrast, is just guitar and string quartet, although given breadth of the results, ‘just’ is perhaps an understatement… What truly dazzles is her compositional audacity. ‘Belladonna,’ for instance, has the snap and rhythmic drive of a Bela Bartók string quartet, plus searing electric guitar.”
Downbeat gives the twin LPs, out now via Nonesuch, five stars — read the review here, and get Mary Halvorson on your airwaves.