Firehouse 12  45 Crown Street  New Haven, CT 06510  203.785.0468

Mary Halvorson Quintet
Saturn Sings

Released : 10/5/2010
Catalog Number : FH12-04-01-013
1 disc
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DISC 166:19$7.99Download CD
Click on a song to listen...
1Leak Over Six Five (No. 14)06:44$0.89Download Song
2Sequential Tears In It (No. 20)06:02$0.89Download Song
3Mile High Like (No. 16)04:48$0.89Download Song
4Moon Traps In Seven Rings (No. 17)09:25$0.89Download Song
5Sea Seizure (No. 19)05:24$0.89Download Song
6Crack In Sky (No. 11)08:48$0.89Download Song
7Right Size Too Little (No. 12)07:31$0.89Download Song
8Crescent White Singe (No. 13)07:27$0.89Download Song
9Cold Mirrors (No. 15)05:38$0.89Download Song
10Saturn Sings (No. 18)04:28$0.89Download Song

Featuring : Mary Halvorson

Saturn Sings is guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson's highly anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2008 debut, Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12). It documents a new book of music written for her latest ensemble, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, which adds fellow New Yorkers Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet) and Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone) to her longstanding trio with bassist John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith. These compositions, her first for a band with horns, employ harmonies influenced by such diverse inspirations as Clifford Brown, Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers, Marvin Gaye, Thelonious Monk, Alexander Scriabin, Archie Shepp, Dmitri Shostakovich and Robert Wyatt.

"Saturn Sings is a continuation of the concepts and ideas heard on Dragon's Head," Ms. Halvorson explains. "My interest in harmony has grown and I'm attempting to build on the foundation of guitar, bass and drums while writing a lot of close-knit and often dissonant horn lines. There are now many other directions to go in, and the horns push the trio into different realms and vice-versa. The more we perform, the more the music gets both looser and tighter; tighter because we are working on developing a band sound, and looser because we are comfortable and trust each other, which allows us the freedom to take chances and to explore within the framework of the piece."

Mary Halvorson :: guitar
Jonathan Finlayson :: trumpet
Jon Irabagon :: alto saxophone
John Hebert :: string bass
Ches Smith :: drums

Press Reviews for Saturn Sings

A true work of art.
-Francois Couture, Monsieur Delire

...Halvorson's is a devastatingly original voice.
-Marcus O'Dair, alluring program that scratches towards eloquence.
-Jim Macnie, Village Voice de los mejores discos de lo que llevamos de 2010.
-Pachi Tapiz,

...a challenging, vibrant and exciting contemporary work...
-Mark Shimura, North Coast Journal

Original in the extreme, Halvorson takes jazz guitar into new directions with a poetic shove...
-Nick Bewsey, ICON of the most interesting musicians in the contemporary jazz and improvised music constellation.
-Mike Chamberlain, HOUR

Saturn Sings is just about the most unequivocally perfect record from a young improviser-bandleader to come down the pike in a while.
-Clifford Allen, Ni Kantu

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,

...Mary Halvorson is the most future-seeking guitarist working right now, thinking out the instrument on a level most couldn't comprehend. But Halvorson's compositions display that exploration with a telepathic connection between her fingers and the sound, making Saturn Sings her strongest document to date.
-Lars Gotrich,

Even when Halvorson summons her crisp, clear-toned runs, pitch bends and brittle spidery arpeggios-echoing the combined crafts of Nels Cline, Joe Morris and Derek Bailey-in relatively conventional settings, her propensity for shape-shifting never fails to dazzle. While she may be receiving most attention for her moves located at jazz's periphery, it's the music Halvorson constructs from the form's raw materials that continue to bear the sweetest fruit.
-Spencer Grady, BBC Music

Part of why so many jazz insiders are down with her is clearly her guitar style. Man. It's a sound that takes clean, woody articulation, then ruptures it: Clashing broken chords, fall away bent strings, dissonant note choices, outright rock shredding. It's crazy, in that good, mouth agape, "how did she do that, and why does it seem to make sense?" sort of way.
-Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR's A Blog Supreme

Guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson's first album as a leader, 2008's Dragon's Head, confirmed her as an innovative compositional voice. Her sophomore effort, Saturn Sings, constitutes an expansion of her unique approach to melody and harmony, but it also gains a certain fluidity in construction and execution due to the playing styles of her comrades.
-Marc Medwin, Dusted

Sounded like Cuban restaurant music in a parallel universe or something. Extraordinary. It was lovely. I think she's a very interesting musician.
-John Fordham, BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3

Halvorson's embrace of contrapuntal harmonies and modular structures reveals a multi-faceted artist whose writing is as impressive as her improvising. Embracing a wide range of influences, yet cohesive in its execution, Saturn Sings is a bold step forward in a career seemingly destined for greatness.
-Troy Collins, Point of Departure of our favorite albums of the year. Halvorson has written some beautiful lines for the horns, a beauty that she then sets about marring, obscuring, reinforcing, and/or elbowing out of the way with her own wonderfully bent approach. Whether rocking rough chords ("Sea Seizure [No. 19]") or finding a sourly melodic single line ("Cold Mirrors [No. 15]"), Halvorson's guitar is never not interesting to listen to.
-Destination: Out

Mary Halvorson and her guitar have offered some of the freshest rainfall on the jazz umbrella. Her compositions challenge mundane notions of melody and harmony: a true step forward for the music movement.
-Jason Moran, New York Magazine

Mary Halvorson might be the most original jazz guitarist in a generation. But she's a composer, too, and (despite lots of unique six-string work) that's where the focus lies on her challenging but riveting second album, Saturn Sings. Her innovative guitar playing is an essential component-but riding on such high-grade material, it feels more like a bonus. Saturn Sings ultimately passes muster on compositional grounds: It's an ideal balance of formal experiment and compelling listen.
-Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

The quintet setting offers the Boston-born, Brooklyn-based guitarist entirely new harmonic possibilities, and the results are hugely impressive. What's especially intriguing about Halvorson's music is how little it seems to owe to the jazz guitar tradition. Whether it's the creative use of silence to break up phrases (album opener 'Leak Over Six Five'), the adroit juxtaposition of notated and free episodes ('Mile High Like'), the sudden switching from the dirtiest, Nirvana-like opening riff to the most delicately articulated melodic line ('Sea Seizure'), or the understated surprise of a sorrowing chorale ('Crack In Sky'), Halvorson's powerfully communicative music transcends the avant-garde experimental box.
-Peter Quinn, Jazzwise

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

Captivating music from this hugely inventive bandleader, a genuinely exciting face in the creative music scene...the writing has great range and originality, and Halvorson's precise, hardscrabble guitar playing is just plain bad-ass.
-John Corbett, DownBeat

Halvorson takes a polyglot approach to writing, name-checking influences as diverse as Clifford Brown, Sam Cooke, Monk, Scriabin, Shostakovich and Robert Wyatt while coming up with a sound that is totally her own...
-Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise

Mary Halvorson has become my new favorite guitar player. Her idiosyncratic technique is full of of odd angles, stops & starts, knotty clusters, swing, and bent chords. Is it possible to wear a CD out? Ask me a year from now. I've got a couple hundred more listens to get through.
-Mark Saleski, Something Else!

On her second album as a leader, Mary Halvorson cements her growing reputation as one of the most original and arresting jazz guitarists to emerge in the first decade of the century. This finely crafted, forward-looking disc teems with creativity.
-Ed Hazell, Jazziz

Halvorson writes haunting melodies, brilliantly executed by an expert ensemble and then assaults them with her mind blowing post-Sonny Sharrock guitar.
-Denver Post's the hurtling intelligence of Halvorson's writing on the tracks with horns that marks her transition from the cutting edge's favorite sidewoman to one of today's most formidable bandleaders.
-Francis Davis, Village Voice

Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style. Her compositions, shaped by a pop sensibility and unconstrained avant aggressiveness, are ably explored by five of modern jazz's young leading lights.
-Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper

It's the concentrated emotional content of the group that makes this one of the more original and accomplished releases of the year, from the support of Hebert and Smith to Finlayson's brassy shimmering lines and Irabagon's more exploratory playing. Halvorson already has a reputation as the most interesting guitarist to arrive in jazz circles in the past decade. This CD is only likely to enhance that view, as Halvorson fuses advanced harmony with quartertones.
-Stuart Broomer, AllAboutJazz-New York

...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

2010 Village Voice Jazz Critics' Poll (#3)

2010 JazzTimes Critics Poll (#16)

Melhores discos internacionais (#4)

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Top 10 of 2010
-Nate Chinen, New York Times

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