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.
drawing on a rich well of influences from sufi and shamanic african trance music, irish and eastern european folk music, to steve reich and philip glass and more contemporary electronica influences, their music is built around deceptively simple sounding ideas that are lent power through the use of repetition and rhythmic loops. they have been compared to both portico quartet and gogo penguin for the way in which they navigate the choppy waters between contemporary dance music and jazz.
gogo penguins debütalbum “fanfares” aus dem jahr 2012 erscheint nun erstmals auch auf vinyl. manchester hat einige der größten britischen rock-bands hervorgebracht, von joy division zu den stone roses, aber es ist nicht nur die indie-szene die dort beheimatet ist. von jon thorne und stuart mccallum zur beats & pieces big band und trompeter matthew halsall, hat manchesters jazz-szene einige der originellsten jazz-gruppen zu bieten. mit seinem achten release präsentiert matthew halsalls gondwana label nun ein neues musikalisches geheimnis aus manchester, das brillante klaviertrio gogo penguin. mit dem pianisten chris illingworth, bassisten grant russell und schlagzeuger rob turner (alle noch in ihren zwanzigern), spielen sich gogo penguin aus einem berauschenden gebräu aus einflüssen von aphex twin, brian eno, debussy, schostakowitsch und massive attack in ekstase.