The Mary Halvorson Quintet performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Mary Halvorson performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2012. Ryan Smith/NPR hide caption

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Mary Halvorson's Saturn Sings is an abstract jazz cliff-dive inspired by Thelonious Monk, Sam Cooke and Robert Wyatt. Amani Willett hide caption

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Sonny Sharrock (pictured here with Linda Sharrock, then his wife) approach his guitar like Albert Ayler played his saxophone — fiercely, yet tenderly out of bounds. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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