When the World Was One (Deluxe Edition) Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

Cover When the World Was One (Deluxe Edition)

Album info

Album-Release:
2014

HRA-Release:
03.09.2021

Label: Gondwana Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Modern Jazz

Artist: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

Composer: Matthew Halsall (1983)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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Formats & Prices

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FLAC 88.2 $ 14.00
  • 1When the World Was One07:36
  • 2A Faraway Place07:50
  • 3Falling Water09:25
  • 4Patterns08:20
  • 5Kiyomizu-Dera06:53
  • 6Sagano Bamboo Forest10:32
  • 7Tribute to Alice Coltrane12:46
  • 8Jura (Bonus Track)08:08
  • 9Tribute to Alice Coltrane (Alternate Take) (Bonus Track)09:38
  • Total Runtime01:21:08

Info for When the World Was One (Deluxe Edition)



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 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 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.

The album opens with the title track, When The World Was One, an expansive ascending tune that nods to Art Blakey and McCoy Tyner and draws the listener in before giving way to the dreamy, meditative A Far Away Place which features great work from Gladwin on harp and draws on Eastern influences alongside the music of Alice Coltrane and Yusef Lateef. Falling Water which features the beautiful soprano of Nat Birchall nods to classic spiritual jazz as well, but mixes in the more contemporary influences of Nostalgia 77 and Cinematic Orchestra, while the hard-driving Patterns conjures an up-lifting celebratory vibe with fine work from pianist Modi to set the mood. The beautiful Kiyomizu-Dera is inspired by Halsall's travels in Japan and in particular his visit to the Buddhist temple of the same name. Likewise Sagano Bamboo Forest is named for another place that left a deep imprint on Halsall and aims to capture his feelings as he worked through the vast maze of bamboo trees. Finally the album closes with the self-explanatory Tribute To Alice Coltrane a grooving tribute to one of Halsall's key influences. Driven by a powerful bass line and featuring wonderful work from Mallet on bansuri flute and harpist Gladwin, the band all really find their way into Halsall's groove before the leader plays a beautiful wistful solo of his own and it is the oneness of the Gondwana Orchestra that makes it such a powerful vehicle for Halsall's music as the leader takes you on his very own journey through his musical and spiritual world.

„Rain-streaked spiritual jazz from Manchester.“ (The Independent on Sunday)

„‚Kind Of Blue‘ meets The Cinematic Orchestra ... With hypnotic grooves, and a meditative slow-build to his solos, Halsall's music is saturated in a life-affirming glow.“ (Time Out)

Matthew Halsall, trumpet
Nat Birchall, saxophone
Lisa Mallett, flute
Keiko Kitamura, koto
Rachael Gladwin, harp
Taz Modi, piano
Gavin Barras, bass
Luke Flowers, drums



Matthew Halsall
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 to meet and play each week. 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”.

The result is arguably Halsall’s most beautiful and complete recording to date, playful, charming and imbued with the warmth of the sun and the energy of life.

Booklet for When the World Was One (Deluxe Edition)

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