Code Girl Mary Halvorson

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  • 1My Mind I Find in Time06:43
  • 2Possibility of Lightning06:17
  • 3Storm Cloud10:00
  • 4Pretty Mountain06:19
  • 5Off the Record05:36
  • 6In the Second Before05:48
  • 7Accurate Hit04:09
  • 8The Beast05:58
  • 9The Unexpected Natural Phenomenon11:29
  • 10Thunderhead05:01
  • 11And06:27
  • 12Armory Beams01:08
  • 13Deepest Similar08:14
  • 14Drop the Needle07:00
  • Total Runtime01:30:09

Info for Code Girl

Code Girl is the latest project of guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson, and her first project for which she has composed both lyrics and music. The band has already been described as “...a bold experiment in song form” by The New York Times. Deftly interpreted by Amirtha Kidambi (vocals), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Michael Formanek (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums), the music synthesizes influences of jazz, folk and improvisation to create an original take on songwriting. T

“Halvorson has set her sights high with Code Girl. It is the first time she has worked with a vocalist, not to mention writing lyrics for another member of an ensemble. The group exhibited some characteristic features of a Halvorson ensemble—tight associations between members where each musician develops their voice, responds directly and confidently with each other, connects at multiple points simultaneously. Meanwhile, the compositions also brew a rare cohesion that never feels forced and draws each member toward their greatest potential. Trumpet and voice mixed quite profoundly, at times, and the vocal styling of Kidambi—drawing from a broad range of influences ranging from the Carnatic tradition to old blues—created a haunting and emotionally rich panorama of colors, shapes, and images that made for both tangible and abstract consumption by the attentive audience.”

"Halvorson has always excelled at balancing form and freedom, and nowhere is that more evident than in the music on Code Girl. This is another bold step in Halvorson's continued evolution as a musician, and she is fortunate to have just the right ensemble for such an ambitious and multifaceted project." (All About Jazz)

Amirtha Kidambi, voice
Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet
Mary Halvorson, guitar
Michael Formanek, bass
Tomas Fujiwara, drums

Recorded December 16th and 17th, 2016 at Firehouse 12
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Nick Lloyd
Produced by Mary Halvorson, David Breskin, and Nick Lloyd

Mary Halvorson
One of improvised music’s most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her “a singular talent” (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), ”NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz—or otherwise” (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper’s Shaun Brady adds, “Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style.”

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on over ten of Mr. Braxton’s recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Tomeka Reid and John Zorn.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson’s primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon’s Head, the band was recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Most recently she has formed an octet, adding trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Ingrid Laubrock, trombonist Jacob Garchik, and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. Their debut 2016 release, Away With You, on the Firehouse 12 Record label, was called “radiant” by the New York Times and “one of the most intricate and entrancing sets of her career” by Pitchfork. Ms. Halvorson is also a part of several collaborative projects including Thumbscrew (with Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara), Secret Keeper (with Stephan Crump), a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, and the avant-rock band People.

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