Following upon her acclaimed first CD for Tzadik, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (2009), Jessica Pavone has created a beautiful and evocative song cycle that meditates on themes of destruction and rebuilding, migration, falsities, and undeniable truths. Adding the heartfelt voice of Emily Manzo and long time associate Mary Halvorson, to the Toomai String quartet along with a dynamic rhythm section, the music is explorative and lyrical. Pavone continues her imaginative exploration of new and exciting ways to present stories and song forms in chamber music contexts with this latest offering.
Guitarist Mary Halvorson and violist Jessica Pavone's longstanding duo embraces a wide range of musical traditions to create what Time Out New York describes as "a challenging fusion of oblique art song, reflective chamber music and thorny free improv."
Critics have noted their "level of interplay that borders on the clairvoyant" (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and likened them to "an avant-garde Thelma and Louise, blazing a trail across the stylistic horizon like a 1966 Ford Thunderbird jerry-rigged from scraps of Eric Dolphy, Django Reinhardt, Appalachian gothic campfires, Charles Ives, and Hendrix-laced psychedelia" (Aidan Levy, Village Voice).
Known as "two of the most exciting figures in New York’s jazz and improvised-music community" (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader), Halvorson and Pavone have worked together in a variety of musical settings over the past decade, most notably the collective quartet The Thirteenth Assembly and the ensembles of the iconic saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton.
Unlike those larger groups, their duo boils down its diverse influences into intimate original compositions that skillfully blend ethereal vocals and folk-inspired simplicity with an experimental edge, expanding their appeal beyond the boundaries of avant-garde jazz.
"Pavone and Halvorson reach in and touch the brain, activating dreams and aggravations with their spare and insidious tunes," writes the Montreal Mirror's Gordon Allen. "The music challenges what is comfortable, with enough restraint to beckon the imagination, sometimes lifting and carrying along, sometimes dragging us toward what we cannot see."
The group, which has performed at venues ranging from small cafés to major international festivals since 2002, will release its fourth recording this fall on the Thirsty Ear label. Learn more about Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone at http://maryhalvorson.com and http://jessicapavone.com
"Songs of Synastry and Solitude" is a collection of songs for string quartet influenced by an interest in the simple beauty of folk songs, the ghosts of all things lost and Leonard Cohen's encouragement to live outside this world.
Since April of 2005 Jessica has had the honor of touring Europe and North America with Anthony Braxton's Sextet and Twelve+1tet interpreting
Braxton's Ghost Trance Music.
Anthony Braxton - composition, reeds
Taylor Ho Bynum - brass
Chris Dahlgren/Carl Testa - bass
Jessica Pavone - viola and violin
Aaron Siegel - percussion
QUOTIDIAN This Work was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.
Performed by Till By Turning
Quotidian is a suite for violin, viola, cello, bassoon, and piano.
Composed in four movements: Hypnopompic, Post Meridiem, Weight of Dusk, and The Darkest Hour, it examines four temporal landmarks that occur within each single day.
Quotidian stems from a belief that the shifting balance between light and dark, as well as other environmental changes constantly affect us regardless of how conscious or aware we are of them. Our external environment has a direct effect on our moods and feelings and therefore, in a sense, has ultimate control overall living beings.
Erica Dicker - violin
Amy Cimini - viola
Loren Dempster - cello
Katherine Young - bassoon
Emily Manzo - piano