Changing Earth

It can’t have escaped your notice that the Earth is changing. The greenhouse gases that we are pumping into our atmosphere are warming the planet, and nowhere is that effect more striking than at the poles. If you want to bring peoples’ attention to the problem, you mount an expedition to the polar regions, where it is still decidedly cool.

Like the sun’s rays heating the air, Matthew Halsall’s compositions are giving the coolest jazz a warmer feel. His blend of “warm jazz” and world music is just what we need to keep us comfortable in these increasingly anxious times. Here is his latest EP, Changing Earth.

Matthew Halsall is an English trumpeter, composer and producer. He is also the founder of the record label, Gondwana Records, which issues recordings by a number of artists that have featured prominently in these pages, including GoGo Penguin, Hania Rani, Mammal Hands, and Portico Quartet.

Discogs credits 9 musicians on the Changing Earth EP:

  • Matthew Halsall – trumpet, composer
  • Matt Cliffe – flute, saxophone
  • Maddie Herbert – harp
  • Liviu Gheorghe – piano
  • Tom Harris – piano
  • Gavin Barras – bass
  • Alan Taylor – drums
  • Chris Davies – percussion
  • Jack McCarthy – percussion

The overall sound is typically described as spiritual jazz. The inclusion of the harp inevitably invites comparison with Alice Coltrane and, in that light, it stands up extremely well. If you told me, for example, that the EP’s title track was an Alice Coltrane composition, I wouldn’t have questioned it. The other three tracks on the EP have a similar, laid back, listen-along vibe; a 30-minute slice of the aural comfort blanket.

The world is changing and, to my mind, Matthew Halsall is changing it for the better.

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