Matthew Halsall`s latest long-player is just over 55 minutes of gentle, spiritual jazz joy. Its 7 tracks concerned with harmony, nature, the stars and the universe, and inspired by tropical field recordings. Those tapes` ambient jungle jive, mimicked by Alan Taylor and Jack McCarthy`s massed percussion, which flows like a fresh water stream, in improvisations carried by kalimba, congas, cymbals smashing and crashing. Where flute, harp and horns are free to calmly scale heights. Liviu Gheorghe`s piano creating dancing key clusters. Together, meandering, meditative, until Gavin Barras` bass finds its groove. All soloing, but leaving Halsall`s trumpet room to soar. His chops referencing, tonally, Hugh Masekela, Chet Baker, and Miles Davies` confident cool. Matt Cliffe`s sax producing an amazingly warm comforting sound. Maddie Herbert`s harp at the heart of the 11 minute title track. The collective modal melodies seeming to riff on familiar refrains, snatches of songs, from Alice Coltrane to Sketches Of Spain. Painting aural pictures full of life, love and light. Serengeti plains, heat-hazed horizons at dawn. Tempos rising, climbing, in a Salute To The Sun. The assembled musicians playing as if anticipating, willing into being, a new aquarian age.
Matthew Halsall`s Salute The Sun is released tomorrow, November 20th, on Gondwana Records.