#Review of Traversing Orbits by Mary Halvorson & Joe Morris, RogueArt, 2018 on #neuguitars #blog


Traversing Orbits by Mary Halvorson & Joe Morris, RogueArt, 2018





  1. Brain Draft (2:33)
  2. Shivering Sunshine (3:50)
  3. Traces of Three (4:11 )
  4. Silence Invasion (3:42)
  5. Semaphore (11:44)
  6. Full of Somehow (9:02)
  7. Constant Between (7:29)
  8. In Other Terms (6:14)
  9. Over the Line (5:39)

“All recordings, especially those of improvised music, try to freeze the sound of a present moment, but invariably melt into the past and the future, real and imagined.1

I think we all know who are these two guitar players. Joe Morris has been one of the most intriguing guitar voices in improvised music for a while now. An original and always inspired musician I think he is one of the few who doesn’t play generic guitar music, having adapted precepts, concepts, and even phrases from musicians who play piano, saxophone, and other instruments.


Mary Halvorson is an avant-garde jazz guitarist from Brookline, Massachusetts. Even if she is often categorized as a jazz guitarist, her music includes elements of many other genres, such as flamenco, rock, noise, and psychedelia. I’ve been waiting for this record for a long time. Being an admirer of both, I enjoyed the news of this record where I finally had the chance to listen to them both. I was not disappointed. Being two of the most innovative guitarists in circulation this album could not fail to represent a moment of exchange, innovation, deep interaction. The nine tracks that make up this cd are, in reality, nine moments of dialogue, exchange of ideas, interplay and pure creativity.


The thing that struck me the most was being able to listen to their styles, always so different, blend harmoniously in a set of free extended improvisation, tunes that run from just over two minutes in length, to past the ten minute mark. Both know each other very well. The result is perfect, a balanced mix of sounds, emotions and notes that seem to be born with a simple spontaneity. Traversing Orbits is a great record.

1Cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum in the album’s liner notes