Mary Halvorson, Cloudward, Nonesuch ***1/2

In a blindfold listening it would be impossible to mistake Mary Halvorson for anyone else - unless it was someone copying her unique wonky detunery and maverick thinking. Cloudward doesn't disappoint and if anything further clarifies the American's …

Published: 19 Jan 2024. Updated: 39 days.

In a blindfold listening it would be impossible to mistake Mary Halvorson for anyone else - unless it was someone copying her unique wonky detunery and maverick thinking. Cloudward doesn't disappoint and if anything further clarifies the American's approach compositionally with lean, expressive guitar lines and daring modernistically inclined band explorations of the material. This Nonesuch release has 8 new compositions by Halvorson appearing with her sextet Amaryllis - that's Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibes), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet). Laurie Anderson guests on album track 'Incarnadine'. Out today

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Ethan Iverson, Technically Acceptable, Blue Note ***1/2

Doesn't Ethan Iverson's Bad Plus period now seem so distant? The more solo records he makes for Blue Note the greater not just the time but the stylistic distance becomes. This new one Includes Iverson originals 'Victory is Assured (Alla Breve)' …

Published: 19 Jan 2024. Updated: 39 days.

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Doesn't Ethan Iverson's Bad Plus period now seem so distant? The more solo records he makes for Blue Note the greater not just the time but the stylistic distance becomes. This new one Includes Iverson originals 'Victory is Assured (Alla Breve)' and 'It's Fine to Decline' plus a version of 'Round Midnight' with, uniquely, the melody played on the ever preposterous and slightly spooky sounding theremin. Also figuring are a fine version of 1970s Roberta Flack pop hit 'Killing Me Softly' and a specially composed Iverson piano sonata. Iverson is with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Kush Abadey (known for his work with Orlando Le Fleming) on the album in its first half with later tracks featuring bassist Simón Willson and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza. Playing the theremin is Rob Schwimmer - you gotta have a gimmick and Technically Acceptable certainly has plenty of spirit and surprises sewn into its elaborate fabric. Out today