Oct 3, 2015

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

 Into Forever (2015)

Matthew HalsallWith last year’s Gondwana Orchestra album When the World Was One, northern trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall eloquently blended the tranquil tone-poetry of Alice Coltrane and the jazz intensity of her husband, John, with sounds of a kindred spirit from Japan and the east.

Into Forever expands that lineup with a string quartet and the gospel and R&B-infused sound of the powerful Manchester vocalist Josephine Oniyama. Halsall’s jazz sensibilities constantly lead him to energise the gentlest passages with contrastingly prodding bass hooks, tough drum patterns and rimshot snaps (as on The Land Of), McCoy Tyner-like piano lines edging through Rachael Gladwin’s harp swoops (Badder Weather), or his own unhurried trumpet reflections as on Daan Park.
The Gondwana Orchestra’s sound palette is frequently gorgeous, and Oniyama’s dramatic presence will undoubtedly broaden their appeal, even if the directness of lyrics may diminish some of their earlier ethereal attraction for some.

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