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Matthew Halsall

Bright Sparkling Light

    Matthew Halsall announces a limited-edition Vinyl only pressing of Bright Sparkling Light, a luminous three track EP featuring some of his most gorgeous compositions.

    Originally conceived as a tour only exclusive, Bright Sparkling Light was recorded alongside, last year’s expansive beguiling long-player An Ever Changing View and draws on the same trademark blend of jazz, electronica, global and spiritual jazz influences. The original pressing sold-out on Matthew’s EU and UK tour last October and November and so many people got in touch with us here at Gondwana asking how they could get a copy that we decided to make a further 2000 copies available for retail and online sales.

    The title track is a hypnotic meditation built on one of the lushest loops Halsall has ever created and featuring stellar work from Halsall and flautist Matt Cliffe. Newborough Forest is a brisk, uplifting composition celebrating one of Halsall’s favourite landscapes and the wonderous Tide and the Moon paints a sonic picture of late-night waters and deep mindfulness and features some of Matt Cliffe’s most beautiful tenor playing.

    Like An Ever Changing View, Bright Sparkling Light comes in a package as striking as the music, with handmade fonts designed by Ian Anderson and a beautifully realised embossed artwork that offers a perfect compliment to the LP.

    Strictly limited and featuring a download code, Bright Sparkling Light will not be re-pressed.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Bright Sparkling Light
    A2. Newborough Forest
    B1. The Tide And The Moon

    Hania Rani

    Ghosts

      Ghosts is the sound of an ever-evolving artist and, just as the album’s title suggests she passes repeatedly and gracefully between musical worlds: as composer, singer, songwriter, and producer. This album builds on Rani’s earlier successes Esja and Home with an expanded yet still minimal setup of piano, keyboards, synths (most importantly her Prophet) and features more of her mysterious, bewitching voice. Its spirit is warm, beckoning one into an ambitious double album that unfolds at an exquisite pace, informed by her revelatory, exploratory live performances.

      Ghosts is also an album of collaborations as Rani is joined by Patrick Watson, who breathes unearthly life into the ethereal ‘Dancing with Ghosts’. ‘Whispering House’is written and recorded with her friend, Ólafur Arnalds and casts a peaceful, ineluctable spell; and Portico Quartet’s Duncan Bellamy contributes vital loops to ‘Don’t Break My Heart’ and ‘Thin Line’.

      Rani’s lyrics are partially inspired by a two-month residency in a small studio in Switzerland’s mountains, where Rani was working on the soundtrack On Giacometti for a documentary about the renowned Swiss artist. “Where I stayed was once an old sanatorium in an area which used to be very popular, but now there are huge abandoned hotels where the locals say ghosts live. I mean, it's kind of a local belief system – these ghosts even have names! – but once you're deep into nature or some abandoned place, your imagination starts working on a different level.”

      “The edge of life and death,” Rani summarises, “and what actually happens in between: this was what really interested me. Even singing the word ‘death’ was quite a shock. It’s such a weird word to say out loud, and people are afraid of it, which I found extremely interesting. Most of the songs probably still talk about love and things like that, but Ghosts is more me thinking about having to face some kind of end.”

      If Rani’s debut Esja was about exploiting her principal instrument, and Home saw her take steps towards a fuller expression of her art, Ghosts is where she unites her varied interests on what might even be considered her first ‘real’ album. Drawing upon a fondness for diverse artists like Enya, The Smile, James Blake and Pink Floyd – not to mention her admiration for her guests – and evoking Stina Nordenstam’s delicacy, Keith Jarrett’s flair, Kate Bush’s artistry and Pink Floyd’s probing inclinations, it combines a lifetime’s musical experience in one miraculous, cosmic world. Say hello, then, to something quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard. It’s the sound of HANIA RANI.

      For fans of Nils Frahm, Melanie de Basio, Björk, Kate Bush, Ólafur Arnalds and Portico Quartet

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Hania Rani's music has up until this point been very much in the ambient / modern classical vein, with beautiful instrumental textures and Rani's voice perfectly merging together into a blissful bath. It's on 'Ghosts' however that we really hear how dynamic and inventive her sound is, with synthesised textures and beautifully produced turns.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Oltre Terra
      A2. Hello
      A3. Don’t Break My Heart Feat. Duncan Bellamy
      A4. 24.03
      B1. Dancing With Ghosts Feat. Patrick Watson
      B2. A Day In Never
      B3. Whispering House Feat. Olafur Arnalds
      C1. The Boat
      C2. Moans
      C3. Thin Line Feat. Duncan Bellamy
      D1. Komeda
      D2. Utrata
      D3. Nostalgia

      Matthew Halsall

      An Ever Changing View

        Halsall who has been hailed as one of the leading figures of the UK jazz renaissance has never seen himself as part of any one sound or scene: he builds his own sonic universe instead. An Ever Changing View finds him at his most experimental yet, once again expanding his sound and production techniques to create his unique brand of deeply meditative music.

        During the album's creation, he was staying in both a beautiful architect’s house with breath-taking sea views and a striking modernist house, where he composed what he saw “like a landscape painting”. In these new environments, Halsall wanted to capture “the feeling of openness and escapism” and to approach making music again from scratch. “I hit the reset button and wanted to have complete musical freedom,” he says. “It was a real exploration of sound.”

        It was hearing jazz on the dancefloor as a teenager that first opened up new possibilities in Halsall’s mind and his music has long drawn on his love for the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders and contemporary electronica from the likes of Warp Records and Ninja Tune. An Ever Changing View melds those forms in a way that feels heady and, at times, even otherworldly. One of the album’s starting points was Halsall’s ever-expanding box of percussion, from congas and kalimba to various clusters of seeds, bells and chimes, which he sampled and looped to use as a foundation for the songs – a first for him and his band. Elevating, charming, totally modern jazz tracks jostle with deft warm magic realism; and laid back grooves with hand percussion, deep bass and the gorgeous glisten of the Fender Rhodes meet hip-hop beats. Halsall himself sparkles, illuminating his beautiful tapestries of sound with lithe, glistening elegiac trumpet.

        An Ever Changing View comes in a package as striking as the music, with handmade fonts designed by Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic and the specially commissioned tapestry by artist Sara Kelly is a stunning and harmonious complement to the record's sound.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Martin says: That Matthew Halsall’s music takes as its starting point the meditative end of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane is no accident. His final two years of education were spent at the Maharishi school, where his experience of meditation led to a deeper immersion in Buddhism, a philosophy that permeates and shapes the nature of his work.

        This is his ninth solo album, which in itself presents the perennial problem that dogs most artists; how to keep the originality and inspiration that accompany approaching a blank canvas and not disappear into a spiral of ever diminishing returns by clinging too tightly to the only formula they allow themselves to know. While it is true that the flow of his work has remained consistent, the individual components and musicians have not. Almost all of the original members of The Gondwana Orchestra have moved on to the burgeoning London jazz scene, the silver lining to this being their replacements have brought their own influence. Halsall has also an ever increasing collection of percussion instruments to draw on and use as a base for his music - in this case kalimba, glockenspiel and marimba amongst others, over which his serene trumpet soars softly overhead. It’s a testament to Halsall’s willingness to evolve that his music still sounds so fresh. He’s produced an exquisite, peaceful gem, as rich as any of his previous work, overflowing with warmth, intricacy and gentle charm.

        On one level the album’s title could refer to the changes in landscape travelling between Northumberland and North Wales, where the album was recorded, But it also nods to the Buddhist concept of impermanence, the idea that it’s a property of the universe that nothing stays the same. An ever changing view.

        TRACK LISTING

        Tracing Nature
        Water Street
        An Ever Changing View
        Calder Shapes
        Mountains, Trees And Seas
        Field Of Vision
        Jewels
        Sunlight Reflection
        Natural Movement
        Triangles In The Sky

        Matthew Halsall

        Salute To The Sun Live At Hallé St. Peter's

          Salute to the Sun: Live at Hallé St Peter's documents a very special concert recorded at the iconic Manchester venue during lockdown.

          Released in November 2020, Matthew's Halsall'sSalute to the Sunwas the trumpeter's first album since 2015'sInto Foreverand marked the debut of his new band. A hand-picked ensemble featuring some of Manchester's finest young musicians. The album drew it's energy from the band's weekly sessions and was inspired by Halsall's love of nature. Lush and spiritual it received universal praise, but Halsall and his band were frustrated that they were unable to share their beautiful new sound live with an audience.

          On November 25th 2020, Halsall took his band into the iconic Manchester venue,Hallé St Peter's,for a concert recording in aid of the charityMindand was streamed to a global audience in the thousands the concert was also recorded for posterity.

          "When we recorded Salute to the Sun, I wanted to create something playful but also quite earthy and organic that connected to the sounds in nature. It seemed to strike a chord with people and I was blown away by the response to the album. Our concert film, recorded at the height of last winter's lockdown was a special moment for us all and I feel that the concert recording captured something beautiful that we wanted to share".

          Salute to the Sun: Live at Hallé St Peter's featuresMatthew Halsall– trumpet,Matt Cliffe- flute & saxophone,Maddie Herbert– harp,Gavin Barras– bass,Liviu Gheorghe– piano,Alan Taylor– drums andJack McCarthy- percussion

          The recording has been mixed by Matthew Halsall andGeorge Atkinsat80 Hertzand is mastered byPeter BeckmannatTechnology Works. The vinyl was cut at Calyx in Berlin and the album is pressed at Optimal in Germany. It is presented in the form of a limited edition 2LP set with artwork by legendary designerIan AndersonofThe Designers Republic.

          Spread over three sides of the vinyl LP for maximum fidelity the fourth side of the LP (side D) features an etching ofDaniel Halsall's now iconic artwork for the album Salute to the Sun and copies are strictly limited with just 3000 available in total. The album will also be available for download and on streaming platforms.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Millie says: Recorded just over a year ago, Salute to the Sun recording feels momentous for the historic venue and beautiful orchestral works. The concert has been encapsulated in time, featuring a sublime sound from Mathew Halsall as always. Such a joy to listen to.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Harmony With Nature (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
          2. Joyful Spirits Of The Universe (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
          3. Canopy & Stars (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
          4. Mindfulness Meditations (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
          5. Tropical Landscapes (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
          6. Salute To The Sun (Live At Hallé St Peter's)

          Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and producer Matthew Halsall has carved out a unique niche for himself as both a band-leader and producer delving deeply into the worlds of spiritual jazz and string-laden soul.

          His latest project finds him playing with and producing the legendary LA jazz singer Dwight Trible, who first came to international renown with his 2005 Ninja Tune release Love Is the Answer. Trible, whose deeply soulful voice has seen him compared to Leon Thomas and Andy Bey, has worked with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Horace Tapscott and Kamasi Washington (he sings lead vocals on the Epic) and brings a deep-rooted soulfulness to everything that he sings.

          Inspirations features some of Dwight Trible and Matthew Halsall's favourite songs including brilliant versions of the timeless Bacharach classic What The World Needs Now Is Love featuring harpist Rachael Gladwin and the Nina Simone smash Feeling Good. A soulful reading of Donny Hathaway and Leroy Hutson's classic Tryin' Times and a heartfelt version of Coltrane's beautiful ballad, Dear Lord, with lyrics by Trible. Other highlights include a vibrant, soulful version of and a beautiful take on They also laid down two spiritual jazz masterpieces, a powerful re-working of Dorothy Ashby's Heaven and Hell (from the legendary The Rubiyat of Dorothy Ashby album) and a spine-tingling reading of the old folk song Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair. Finally the album is rounded out with and the traditional spiritual Deep River and the beautiful standard I Love Paris.



          TRACK LISTING

          What The World Needs Now Is Love (feat. Matthew Halsall) 
          I Love Paris (feat. Matthew Halsall) 
          Feeling Good 
          Dear Lord (feat. Matthew Halsall) 
          Heaven & Hell 
          Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair (feat. Matthew Halsall) 
          Deep River (feat. Matthew Halsall) 

          Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall is one of the rising stars of the UK jazz scene. His unique sound was brilliantly described as "Rain-streaked spiritual jazz from Manchester" by the Independent On Sunday and previous albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane or paying heartfelt tribute to the hard bop of the late 50s and early 60s, but on 'Fletcher Moss Park' he offers his most personal statement yet.

          Written and recorded over the last couple of years, 'Fletcher Moss Park' is inspired by one of Manchester's most beautiful places. A rambling, multi-tiered park of walkways and dreamy gardens that offers the contemplative Halsall a place of peace and respite from the city, a meditative space to think and write in. The stillness and beauty of the surroundings have steeped into his beautiful compositions for this album. Elegant and sincere, Halsall's compositions draw on his love of spiritual jazz, modern dance music and even his work with the award-winning Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band earlier this year. Halsall who has recently been exploring his music in a stripped-back, electronica influenced, trio (featuring Taz Modi and Luke Flowers who also appear here) as well as the 12 piece Gondwana Orchestra has always favoured an earthy honestly and direct communication over tricksy arrangements and it is this deceptively simple openness that gives his music such a unique flavour as the young composer and producer seeks to express his feelings and thoughts with his music.

          'Fletcher Moss Park' opens with three tracks featuring saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin and pianist Adam Fairhall alongside bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes all long running members of Halsall's sextet. The beautiful 'Cherry Blossom' opens with a nod to Alice Coltrane before exploring it's own contemplative trajectory, the title track features a gorgeous opening from harpist Gladwin and one of Halsall's trademark slow but foot tappingly catchy grooves, Mary Emma Louise is an elegant tribute to someone special and features some beautifully wistful playing from the composer. 'Sailing Out To Sea' and 'Wee Lan' offer a change in mood, two short interludes for violin (Holly Simpson and Davinder Singh), cello (Adrianne Wininsky) and double bass (Barras), Halsall chose not to play here feeling that the brief musical sketches caught his intentions perfectly. Finally the album closes with the two most recent compositions, the reposeful 'Sun In September' which features fine work from flautist Lisa Mallett, alongside pianist Taz Modi and drummer Luke Flowers and the uplifting 'Finding My Way', which with its compelling groove and fine drumming from Flowers (best known for his work with Cinematic Orchestra) offers a nod towards Halsall's love of contemporary electronic music as well as a hint of future projects. But as with the writing here you can be sure that wherever Halsall's muse takes him his music will remain heartfelt and life affirming in its elegant directness as he explores his own unique musical terrain that stretches from the bucolic stillness of 'Fletcher Moss Park' to a world far beyond!

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Ryan says: A favourite of mine from our own local Jazz mastermind. Fletcher Moss Park explores a 50's, 60's sound channeling the likes of Coltrane. As you can imagine this album flows beautifully from beginning to end, almost as good as a stroll through the park itself.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Cherry Blossom
          2. Fletcher Moss Park
          3. Mary Emma Louise
          4. Sailing Out To Sea
          5. Wee Lan (Little Orchid)
          6. The Sun In September
          7. Finding My Way

          Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

          When The World Was One

            Over the course of four albums, Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of its brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His label Gondwana Records is home to GoGo Penguin and his own albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane, paying tribute to the hard bop of the late '50s and early '60s or most recently on 'Fletcher Moss Park' drawing on Eastern influences in his most personal statement yet. His latest album 'When The World Was One' is something of a companion piece to 'Fletcher Moss Park' (much of the music was written at the same time) but draws more explicitly on Halsall's love of spiritual jazz and Eastern music as well as his own studies in meditation and travels in Japan. Beautifully recorded at Hasall's favourite studio, 80 Hertz in Manchester, and engineered by Brendan Williams and George Atkins it features the recording debut of Halsall's large ensemble, The Gondwana Orchestra, which utilises the exotic flavours of harp, koto and bansuri flute and Eastern scales to create a global palate for Halsall's life-affirming sounds.

            The Gondwana Orchestra features long time collaborators Nat Birchall, saxophone, Gavin Barras, bass and Rachael Gladwin, harp as well as Taz Modi on piano. Modi who also plays with Halsall in their more electronic trio shares his passion for spiritual jazz and plays the music with real feeling while the role of the harp here is to bring a touch of 'magical reality' a floating dreaminess that is a vital part of Halsall's elegiac and beautiful music. The drummer Luke Flowers is perhaps best known as part of Cinematic Orchestra, and Halsall describes him as 'one of the best drummers in the world' and hails him for 'playing the music exactly as I heard it in my head', Keiko Kitamura is a Japanese Koto player who is becoming an increasingly important part of the Gondwana Orchestra, her role is similar to Gladwin's in that the koto helps free up the music while also bringing a real sound of the East. Finally, flautist Lisa Mallett brings a love of Indian music to the orchestra, much travelled on the continent she brings all of her knowledge and experience to play offering a unique texture to Halsall's dreamy melodies.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. When The World Was One
            2. A Far Away Place
            3. Falling Water
            4. Patterns
            5. Kiyomizu-Dera
            6. Sagano Bamboo Forest
            7. Tribute To Alice Coltrane

            Matthew Halsall

            Salute To The Sun

              Composer, trumpeter, producer, DJ and founder of Gondwana Records, Matthew Halsall has always worn many hats. But at the heart of everything that he does Halsall is first and foremost an artist and a musician. A trumpeter whose unflashy, soulful playing radiates a thoughtful beauty and a composer and band-leader who has created his own rich sound world. A sound that draws on the heritage of British jazz, the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as world music and electronica influences, and even modern art and architecture, to create something uniquely his own. A music that is rooted in Northern England but draws on global inspirations.

              Salute to the Sun is his first album as a leader since Into Forever (2015) and marks the debut of his new band. A hand-picked ensemble featuring some of Manchester’s finest young musicians: Matt Cliffe flute & saxophone, Maddie Herbert harp, Liviu Gheorghe piano, Alan Taylor drums and Jack McCarthy percussion as well as long-time Halsall collaborator, bassist, Gavin Barras who has been at the heart of Halsall’s bands for over a decade. For Matthew it was important to have a band based locally and able, pre-Covid, to meet and play each week, and who also performed a sold-out monthly basement session at Yes in Manchester. The album draws energy from these sessions and inspiration from themes and ideas that have inspired Halsall through the years (on albums such as Oneness, Fletcher Moss Park and When the World Was One) ideas of ecology, the environment and harmony with nature.

              “I feel Salute to the Sun is a positive earthy album. I wanted to create something playful but also quite primitive, earthy and organic that connected to the sounds in nature. I was listening to lush ambient field recordings of tropical environments such as jungles and rainforests and found myself drawn to percussive atmospheric sounds which replicated what I was hearing (bells / shakers / chimes / rain sticks) and I started to experiment with more wooden percussive instruments such as kalimba and marimba”.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: After a year in which most of us had plenty of opportunity to reconnect with nature, Manchester’s pre-eminent jazz musician returned with this lush tribute to the living world. ’Salute To The Sun’ is Halsall’s first album as a leader in five years, and finds him fronting a new band cherry picked from the next generation of Mancunian musicians as well as long time collaborator Gavin Barras.

              Halsall’s spent much of the last decade reinterpreting spiritual jazz for the 21st century, and there’s been a consistent focus on ecological influences. On ’Salute To The Sun’ however, Halsall looks far beyond Fletcher Moss, instead exploring the humid sounds of the tropics across seven immersive compositions. Placing a greater emphasis on percussion than on previous works, Halsall lets his expressive tone soar over the woody rhythms beneath, the marimba and kalimba adding pitched nuance to the primal drum patterns. This album is as rich, warm and rewarding as the life giving orb which inspired it.

              TRACK LISTING

              Harmony With Nature
              Joyful Spirits Of The Universe
              Canopy & Stars
              Mindfulness Meditations
              Tropical Landscapes
              Salute To The Sun
              The Energy Of Life

              Matthew Halsall

              Joyful Spirits Of The Universe

                Two brand new tracks and a bonus edit available here for the first time and exclusively on vinyl. 

                Strictly limited 12" vinyl (500 copies only - no repress).

                TRACK LISTING

                1 Joyful Spirits Of The Universe
                2 Joyful Spirits Of The Universe (Edit)
                3 Floating Island

                Signed to Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records and championed by DJs from Mike Chadwick to Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum GoGo Penguin's skittering break-beats, telepathic interplay and a penchant for anthemic melody all contribute to a sound that's wholly their own. Pianist Chris Illingworth's yearning classical influenced melodies are filtered through the dance music energy of bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner.

                Brilliantly recorded by their long-term sound engineer Joe Reiser and studio engineer Brendan Williams the band have taken full advantage of the increased recording budget, the success of their debut afforded, to record a statement of real intent. 'v2.0' is a gloriously vibrant technicolor snap-shot of a band finding their own voice - as drawing on a heady brew of influences from Brian Eno, John Cage and Squarepusher to Manchester's grey rain-streaked urban streets they create a brave new sound all their own.

                "A really brilliant modern piano trio that takes in the whole history of music. I think they're really special." - Jamie Cullum

                "That is a little bit special, brand new album, it's been a year now GoGo Penguin working on their latest material, out of Manchester, 'Kamaloka' the name of this track." - Gilles Peterson


                TRACK LISTING

                1. Murmuration
                2. Garden Dog Barbecue
                3. Kamaloka
                4. Fort
                5. One Percent
                6. Home
                7. The Letter
                8. To Drown In You
                9. Shock And Awe
                10. Hopopono
                11. Break (Indies Exclusive Bonus Track)
                12. In Amber (Indies Exclusive Bonus Track)

                Portico Quartet

                Art In The Age Of Automation

                Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet have always been an impossible band to pin down. Sending out echoes of jazz, electronica, ambient music and minimalism, the group created their own singular, cinematic sound over the course of three studio albums, from their 2007 breakthrough 'Knee-Deep in the North Sea', and 2010 John Leckie produced 'Isla', to the self titled record 'Portico Quartet' in 2012. Now rebooted as Portico Quartet after a brief spell as the three-piece Portico, the group's fourth album is on shop favourite, Matthew Halsall's, Gondwana records. Heralding a return to their mesmeric signature sound but also featuring fresh new sonic departures, the band's comeback was so eagerly anticipated that their four-night run at London's Archspace in June, sold out in less than an hour.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                David says: Released on shop favourite, Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana label, Portico Quartet’s fourth album ‘Art In The Age Of Automation’ is a mesmeric, neo classical masterpiece. Sometimes the neo classical tag can be more of an insult than a compliment, bringing to mind Debenhams at dinner time piano, or the soundtrack to a documentary about the retreat from Stalingrad. Portico Quartet however, sidestep these comparisons by looking towards their contemporaries, visionaries like Floating Points and the more electronic moments of Radiohead, are as much of an influence as classic ambient artists such as Steve Reich and Brian Eno. ‘Art In The Age Of Automation’ is a genuinely beautiful listening experience. A languid journey through the full spectrum of sound, bookended by the rise and fall of the sun, melodies reflecting in its rays as the world, for these brief moments at least, let’s us drift away together in some kind of hard won harmony.

                TRACK LISTING

                Endless
                Objects To Place In A Tomb
                Rushing
                Art In The Age Of Automation
                S/2000S5
                A Luminous Beam
                Beyond Dialogue
                RGB
                Current History
                Mercury Eyes
                Lines Glow 

                Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                Into Forever

                  Over the course of five albums, Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of it's brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His new album 'Into Forever', puts the spotlight on Halsall the composer, arranger and producer. Halsall draws on a diverse range of influences from Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, Phil Cohran and Leon Thomas to the more contemporary sounds of The Cinematic Orchestra, Max Richter and Nils Frahm to deliver his most complete recording to date. 'Into Forever' features renowned Manchester based soul poet Josephine Oniyama and rising star vocalist Bryony Jarman-Pinto (Werkha) as well as regular collaborators, flautist Lisa Mallett, harpist Rachael Gladwin, koto player Keiko Kitamura, pianist Taz Modi, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Luke Flowers (The Cinematic Orchestra) and two percussionists Sam Bell and Chris Cruiks. The result is arguably Halsall's finest record, asublime melding of stripped back soulful funk and deep, minimalist, spiritual jazz, that will take you on a journey deep into forever!

                  Phil France

                  The Swimmer


                  France of Cinematic Orchestra fame has just signed a three album deal with Gondwana and is currently working on new material for release in Autumn 2017, but first up is a worldwide re-release for his debut solo recording, The Swimmer, a beautiful beguiling "soundtrack" for a film that hasn't been made yet.
                  Originally released in October 2013 it sounds even better now than it did then, deeply emotive and epic in scale it draws it influences from the great second wave of film composers including John Carpenter and Vangelis, as well as minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. France's skill, in this album, as well as his work with The Cinematic Orchestra, is in soundtracking human emotion - The Swimmer is full of heartbreak and recovery, strength, honesty and frailty, it is meditative and hopeful and, in our opinion, you might not hear a better album this year.



                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  David says: Sounding even better now than it did when it was originally released in 2013, this is an unparalleled work of beauty that every home should own.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. The Swimmer
                  2. Transition
                  3. Kubrick
                  4. Joy Of Brass
                  5. London Park Hotel
                  6. December
                  7. Animator

                  Manchester based, DJ, bandleader and trumpeter Matthew Halsall is one of the UK's brightest jazz talents. A gifted trumpeter with a beautiful, expressive tone, his music draws on his love of the transcendental, spiritual and modal jazz of Alice and John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as the glories of 60s British jazz.

                  His third album "On The Go" is a heartfelt love letter to the jazz of the late 50s and early 60s. Inspired by the evocative sounds of Miles Davis' soundtrack to the Louis Malle film "Lift To The Scaffold" and the legendary early 60s recordings of Art Blakey and Max Roach the album is nostalgic but always soulful. However, while Halsall's elegiac music is imbued with a sense of history, the young trumpeter and DJ nevertheless brings a contemporary bounce to his music ensuring that his music breathes with a personality all its own.

                  The album opens with "Music For A Dancing Mind", the most obvious nod to the work of Blakey and Roach. The beautiful "Song For Charlie" is named for Halsall's grandfather, a key inspiration in his life. Dukkha is a Buddhist term roughly translating to suffering so the title "The End Of Dukkha" is self-explanatory and "Samatha", another Buddhist term, means calm, a perfect title for this elegant tune. "The Journey Home" came to Halsall on the train back to Manchester from London and captures that happy feeling of return.




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