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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

CD Review: Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra - When the World Was One

Matthew Halsall (trumpet), Nat Birchall (soprano saxophone), Lisa Mallett (flutes), Keiko Kitamura (koto), Rachael Gladwin (harp), Taz Modi (piano), Gavin Barras (double bass) & Luke Flowers (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The Gondwana Orchestra’s opening track, the eponymous When the World Was One more than hints at a Coltrane vibe – Nat Birchall’s soprano, Taz Modi’s piano (McCoy) and Luke Flowers’ drums (Elvin). Bandleader Halsall leaves it late, contributing fluent trumpet work to take it out. A Far Away Place (the Far East at a guess) evokes ethereal woodwind sounds (bansuri flute), Rachael Gladwin’s elegant harp riding on Flowers’ desultory rhythmic snare.
Trumpeter Matthew Halsall’s thoughtful solos are best illustrated on Falling Water – considered, conscious of Modi’s piano part to follow. Patterns hears an up beat Modi giving way to more of the measured Halsall. Flowers takes a few bars without losing the momentum with soprano and flute (Lisa Mallett) supplying the coda. Halsall’s interest in, and travels to Japan, demands the inclusion of ‘non-traditional’ jazz instruments (bansuri flute, Keiko Kitamura’s koto, harp) and they feature on Kiyomizu-Dera (a Buddhist temple in Japan).
Gladwin’s harp and Birchall’s soprano respond to Halsall’s growling trumpet work on Sagano Bamboo Forest, peace sought and found. On the closing track – Tribute to Alice Coltrane – bassist Gavin Barras suggests a groove, the excellent Flowers goes with it, Modi dreams awhile, flute awakens Halsall’s distant trumpet and harpist Gladwin has the final word.
When the World Was One is a beautifully conceived album, a million miles away from the Western jazz world’s historic predilection for the bravura performance. The work is available now in several formats on Gondwana Records.
Russell.

                

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