Pictures, Video & Audio

Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn

Mary Halvorson's name has been appearing more and more frequently during the past couple of years in collaboration with NYC's most forward-thinking musicians.  Her appearance in Erie with bassist Stephan Crump showed us why. 

This unassuming creative powerhouse is paired in this week's video with steel guitarist Susan     (Steel guitarist?  Really?  Hm-m-m-m.  Then I listened a little more and thought: Hm-m-m-m!!,  Then I listened a few minutes more and  realized this may join my list of all-time  favorites: great musicians listening, each articulating their own story, with an edge-of-your- chair alertness and openness of complimentary  improvisation, seemingly boundless imagination   Wow!)

It's a long recording, but you can get the impact in the first seven or eight minutes.

Halvorson has been recording with larger and larger groups.  YouTube also offers a Quintet recording at an NPR "Tiny Desk" concert, and a recent Octet recording at the Stone, 8-6-16. The octet includes Alcorn, along with alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, Johnathan Finlayson -- trumptee, Ingrid Laubrack -- tenor sax, and Halvorson's standby bassist, John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith.

This recording, issued as a CD, was named by Nate Chinen, jazz reviewer for the Sunday NY Times, as his #1 choice for best recordings of 2016.

by Dick Thompson

December 20, 2016