The Washington City Paper‘s Michael J. West spotlights five avant-garde jazz albums released in 2008 that he feels “deserve your attention” in his December 31st entry in the publication’s blog, Black Plastic Bag.
Number three on his list is guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson’s Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records).
West, who penned a feature on Ms. Halvorson for the December issue of JazzTimes, writes, “The guitarist leads a Hendrix-inspired trio featuring bassist John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith through a set of her own intuitively designed compositions. Between her unconventional approach to structure and her thorny guitar style, however, it’s impossible to tell where composition ends and improv begins, and vice versa; the effect is not unlike watching a cat unfurl a ball of yarn, with no telling which directions the string might end up going but, ultimately, a layout of distinct but unusual patterns.”