Review: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra “When The World Was One”

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I always think to my self there are no bad Jazz albums, because Jazz gives you so much time to listen and explore, with most albums being over an hour, there’s just so much to listen to, but the more the better! Jazz for me stands there with ambient and some electronic music, where its gives time for a song and instruments to develop and evolve coming and going, giving you time to think about the music, more than it just pounding though quickly as possible, or it being short enough for single status (Apart form swing) Because of this it’s my favourite genre of music.

“When The World Was One” was released back in June, and i’ve only just bought it. Released on Gondwana Records, its a collaborative album with Manchester trumpeter Matthew Halsall who released his beautiful “Fletcher Moss Park” back in 2012, and The Gonadwana Orchestra. The album takes many turns throughout the the Jazz world, exploring hard bop to more middle eastern jazz. The Opening track “When The World Was One” takes you on a full on Hard Bop trip with a lots of different parts to the song happening.  “A Far Away Place” starts with a lovely easy harp, much like The Cinematic Orchestra’s early stuff. Then the bass comes in with the piano and flutes taking you on this Asian ride which is just so easy. “Falling Water” is just a wave of pianos and trumpets. What explores an almost “Kind of Blue” element. Next comes “Patterns” which starts in full force and all the other elements coming in and still has this middle eastern feel, which then becomes more contemporary again. “Kiyomizu-Dera” is a flutey marvel. It makes you feel as you’re sitting in an Chinese or Japanese forrest, drinking tea. But when you’re really just sat at home. “Sagano Bamboo Forest” the title of the track fells a little miss leading as it goes back west again, but still a lovely addison. The last track “Tribute to Alice Coltrane” which clocks a lengthy almost 13 minutes. is a free exploring gem which ends the album perfectly.

I may have not gone into much detail as I could have about the tracks, but thats because you need to listen to them and study them. Like all genres of course, but Jazz more, because its just so good. This album is now one of my favourite contemporary Jazz records!

5/5

Key Tracks: All of them!

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