American guitarist Mary Halvorson won the most recent Downbeat Critics Poll leads the band Code Girl, in which she presents adventurous songs offering room for solos and improvisations. The front line of the band is formed by singer Amirtha Kidambi and Ambrose Akinmusire, who was voted best trumpeter in the Downbeat Critics Poll 2016.
Mary Halvorson is regarded as a great innovator of jazz guitar. Consciously avoiding clichés, she creates her own style, in which she subtly distorts her semi-acoustic guitar with electronic effects. Her mentors include composer Anthony Braxton and guitarist Joe Morris. Double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara have previously been part of her trio Thumbscrew.
‘Vocalist Amirtha Kidambi’s sound was reminiscent of Cassandra Wilson’s early days with Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill, but often with a more insistent vibrato. She fluidly intoned Halvorson’s lyrics’ (from a Downbeat review of the first Code Girl gig at the Jazz Gallery in New York).
Mary Halvorson guitar, Amirtha Kidambi voice, Ambrose Akinmusire trumpet, Michael Formanek bass, Tomas Fujiwara drums