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Mary Halvorson Quintet Live at the Wexner Center

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by Mark Subel on November 28, 2012

This Saturday evening, the Wexner Center Performance Space welcomes the Mary Halvorson Quintet. Show time is 8pm. Fans of today’s beyond-category jazz will revel in this concert with the Mary Halvorson Quintet. Halvorson’s radical approach to the guitar and to composition probes urgent, unexpected dimensions, delighting with each barbed twist and turn. Deftly balancing precision and fiery free form impulses, Halvorson and her up-for-anything crew constantly surprise. Their shifting sonic fields find fresh beauty in jagged thrusts or sweeping impressionistic vistas.

Critical acclaim for Halvorson is wide spread and enthusiastic. NPR.org proclaims,

“Mary Halvorson is the most future-seeking guitarist working right now, thinking out the instrument on a level most couldn’t comprehend.” AllAboutJazz.com says, “Halvorson is, indeed, the real thing, and she sounds like nobody else. She pretty much has it all. Outside but also inside, adventurous but also accessible…a new sound from a new star.”

Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. In addition to her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and her quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew, Reverse Blue and Secret Keeper. She is also an active member of bands led by Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Curtis Hasselbring, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Marc Ribot, Tom Rainey and Matthew Welch among others.

Her ever-sharp quintet features leading Downtown scene players Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on sax, John Hébert on bass, and Ches Smith on drums.

“Halvorson is, indeed, the real thing, and she sounds like nobody else. She pretty much has it all. Outside but also inside, adventurous but also accessible, Saturn Sings is a new sound from a new star.”
-Chris May, AllAboutJazz.com

“A glowing critical consensus has formed around the guitarist Mary Halvorson in the last two years, since the arrival of “Dragon’s Head” (Firehouse 12), her superb debut. “Saturn Sings,” her second album on the same label, seems sure to intensify the praise…a credible vision of jazz’s near future.”
-Nate Chinen, New York Times

“…her sonic outbursts are tempered by compositions that are highly intelligent and harmonically sophisticated, full of nuance, beauty and the sound of surprise…the harmonies and interwoven lines that she constructs for trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, both potent soloists, add layers of depth to this startlingly original and thoughtful music. This is easily one of the most provocative and fascinating releases of 2010.”
—Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

Roulette TV: MARY HALVORSON from Roulette Intermedium on Vimeo.

Mary Halvorson Quintet
Wexner Center
Saturday, December 1st 2012
More info: http://www.wexarts.org/pa/index.php?eventid=6463

** photo by Amani Willett

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