Home » Jazz Articles » Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun

17
Album Review

Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun

By

Sign in to view read count
Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun
Trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall is an inspirational figure on the British scene, as a musician and as the founder of the successful Gondwana Records label. Based in the northern city of Manchester, two hundred miles and a lifestyle away from London, Halsall debuted in 2008 with Sending My Love, on which he unveiled his distinctive spiritual-jazz take on the less-is-more modalism and lustrous sound of Miles Davis circa Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959). Since then, Halsall's bands have accelerated the emergence of some of the north of England's most striking musicians, including reed players Nat Birchall and Chip Wickham, pianist Adam Fairhall and harpist Rachael Gladwin.

With Salute To The Sun, Halsall's first album of newly recorded material since 2015's Into Forever, everything has changed and nothing has changed. His muscular young band is completely new aside from bassist Gavin Barras, who has both anchored and elevated the music since Sending My Love. The music itself, however, is as resplendently the same as ever, following the path first set out by Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. Its signatures are a celestial vibe, melodicism and well-tempered grooves (in its way, the Gondwana aesthetic resembles that of Creed Taylor's CTI label, with whom it shares its high production values). New harpist Maddie Herbert fits seamlessly into the slot left by Gladwin and the gutsy saxophonist and flautist Matt Cliff brings Sanders' broken-note strewn tenor and Rahsaan Roland Kirk's pizzicato flute to the party along with himself. The most significant tweak to the studio sound is the foregrounded use of tuned percussion such as the kalimba and marimba. The album is balm for the soul.

A final thought. Salute To The Sun comes from a similar place as another trumpet led, premier league, 2020 British album, Laura Jurd's band Dinosaur's To The Earth (Edition). Both are playful, essentially acoustic and were conceived with environmental concerns in mind. If you enjoy one of them, you will almost certainly enjoy the other one, too.

Track Listing

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

Personnel

Matthew Halsall: trumpet; Matthew Cliffe: flute; Maddie Herbert: harp; Gavin Barras: bass, acoustic; Alan Taylor: drums; Jack McCarthy: percussion; Liviu Gheorghe: piano.

Additional Instrumentation

Matthew Cliffe: flute, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Liviu Gheorghe: piano, kalimba, marimba; Tom Harris: kalimba (3).

Album information

Title: Salute To The Sun | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Gondwana Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz since 1995, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Xaybu: The Unseen
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone
Secret People
Secret People
If I Knew Then
Naama Gheber

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.