Brooklyn-based guitarist, composer, and MacArthur fellow Mary Halvorson has released a series of critically acclaimed albums, from Dragon’s Head (2008), her trio debut featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, expanding to a quintet with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon on Saturn Sings (2010) and Bending Bridges (2012), a septet with tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik on Illusionary Sea (2014), and finally an octet with pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn on Away With You (2016). She also released the solo recording Meltframe (2015), and most recently debuted Code Girl (2018, 2020), a new ensemble featuring vocalist Amirtha Kidambi (singing Halvorson’s own lyrics), trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, saxophonist and vocalist María Grand, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. The acclaim for 2022’s Amaryllis and Belladonna included being named Jazz Album of the Year in DownBeat’s annual Critics Poll.

Now, Nonesuch Records releases Cloudward, featuring eight new compositions by Halvorson performed with her sextet Amaryllis, comprised of Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet). Labelmate Laurie Anderson also is featured on the album track “Incarnadine.” Halvorson and the ensemble will tour internationally following the Cloudward release, including February and March dates in Maryland and New York, as well as at the Big Ears Festival as part of Nonesuch’s 60th anniversary celebration. Halvorson says, “The music on Cloudward was written in 2022, mostly in the fall and winter, when things started moving forward [after pandemic lockdowns]. Life felt like a creaky machine starting up again. Air travel, however chaotic, had resumed, and we were once again cloudward. Performances and tours and recordings were happening after a long hiatus and with a renewed sense of gratitude. This band, for me, was quite simply working, both musically and personally, and the main thing I felt while writing the music was optimism.”

“One of the most anticipated albums of 2024” – Pitchfork

“Richly layered compositions and improvisations.” – Wall Street Journal

“One of the most thrilling guitar players of her generation …  With her latest, Cloudward, her writing reveals a newfound sense of beauty and clarity.” – The Guardian

“A shimmering, deeply satisfying example of a jazz sextet firing on all cylinders … Prepare to be astonished.” – PopMatters  

FCC Clean

Label: Nonesuch

Going For Adds 1/30

Skip to toolbar