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Matthew Halsall has already blessed us with one beautifully conceived EP this year, now with Changing Earth he has shared another perfectly crafted four track mini-album or EP. Where the music on The Temple Within came from the energy around the band's monthly sessions at Yes in Manchester, Changing Earth is a more meditative, spiritual offering:
"I was thinking about climate change and the profound implication of the human race's relationship with nature and the changes we have wrought on our environment when I wrote the music for Changing Earth. Our world is changing around us, and it is a dark, unsettling period in our shared history, but I still believe that together we can change things for the better and find harmonious solutions together.
The title track Changing Earth is a soulful, elevating groover featuring sublime work from the whole band but especially, Matt Cliffe on flute and Maddie Herbert on harp. Positive Activity is one of Halsall's most charming compositions, built round a hypnotic bassline from Gavin Barras it's melody is plaintive but also uplifting and hopeful and harpist Herbert again shines brightly here. Yogic Flying is another soulful, uplifting tune as Halsall and percussionist Jack McCarthy take us on a transcendental journey upwards. Finally our journey inwards and upwards takes us to Upper Space, a quintessentially Halsall tune built around glistening harp and a sublime, soulful sanctuary elevated through beautiful work from the whole band but especially saxophonist Matt Cliffe.
Changing Earth features Matthew Halsall trumpet and electronics,Matt Cliffe flute & saxophone, Maddie Herbert harp, Liviu Gheorghe piano,Gavin Barras, bass, Alan Taylor drums and Jack McCarthypercussion. Changing Earth is produced by Matthew Halsall and Daniel Halsall, recorded by Matthew Halsall, mixed by Greg Freeman, mastered by Peter Beckmann of Technology Works and vinyl cut by Norman Nitzsche at Calyx. The distinctive artwork is by Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic.
Matt says: I was lucky enough to witness some of this material played live at Matthew's final YES Pink Room residency. It's an astonishingly spiritual piece; bolstered indefinitely by Maddie's towering harp, and the interplay between the musicians is incredible - they're achieving that natural telepathy only the greatest jazz improvisers reach. Halsall is the embodiment of a master, and there's still years left ahead of him. A real treasure of our city and to the jazz world in general. I love it.
1. Positive Activity
2. Changing Earth
3. Yogic Flying
4. Upper Space