Album Of The Week: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra Into Forever

Album Of the Week: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra Into Forever

This is one of those weeks where our “Album Of The Week” was essentially a one-horse race. There are of course albums’ worth hearing and honourable mentions go out to Kelela, KerenDun + Yudko and Cara Stacey who’s recent releases have been in heavy rotation at Twistedsoul HQ. But the album that has us most excited is Matthew Halsall‘s new 11-track masterpiece. 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 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 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 opening track, “Only A Women”, is the perfect introduction where Oniyama’s beautiful vocals melt into the warm classical jazz textures. The album finds Halsall exploratory as ever “As I Walk” reminds me of 4Hero circa 1998 and “Badder Weather” with its slick bass and twinkling keys is an uptempo number that shines like gold. Make sure to listen to the title track “Into Forever,” ” Longshan Temple” and “Daan Park” which showcase the range of sounds that Halsall and the band captures on the album. It’s a wonderful modern jazz album and anyone looking to check out some modern jazz, then this a great place to start. This is definitely another successful notch under their belts. Check out Into Forever today.

8/10

‘Into Forever’ is out now, order here

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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