Episode 394: Mary Halvorson


In the music world, everyone sounds like someone — except Mary Halvorson. All musical touchstones feel like a stretch when attempting to describe the work of the New York-based musician. Avant-garde or free jazz works to the extent that either actually describe a musical style. There’s rock in there, certainly, and I’ve even seen the term “experimental flamenco” bandied about. But all belie the unpredictable nature of her time signatures and chord progressions. Among her best known works is a cover of “A Little Help From My Friends” that sounds like a familiar work stripped bare, run through the grinder and reassembled in ways that defy the laws of physics. It’s the sort of things that rewires the listener’s brain, while giving you hope for a continued way forward for jazz experimentation.

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