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MARY HALVORSON ‘Amaryllis’

May 20, 2022 | Jazz, Reviews

Halvorson unpacks a myriad of possible futures

Amaryllis arrived simultaneously with its sister album Belladonna, and expanded Halvorson’s already extraordinary catalogue for which the word jazz is not always suitable or sufficient. These albums are only part of Halvorson’s creative output, as you can often find her utilizing her immense talent for improvisation in various group settings, alongside her projects as a leader.

Amaryllis is a six song suite for a newly formed sextet with the addition of the Mivos String Quartet for three of the numbers. This is the largest group setting Halvorson has written for and includes trumpet, trombone, vibes, bass and drums.

No map exists to guide you through this maze of masterful improv, but a framework of composition exists to highlight individual virtuosity, interlocking rhythm, and melody. Particular mention must go to Jacob Garchik’s trombone on opener Night Shift.

Over twenty years Halvorson has proved to be a passionately inventive guitarist. And, to see her fire up her Guild Artist Award guitar is an awe-inspiring sight. We will never tire of witnessing passages of cleanly fretted notes seemingly dissolve into shifting sands as her trusty effects pedals are engaged. Now proving herself to be a composer of mercurial abilities, each new release sees Halvorson unpack a myriad of possible futures.

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