Colourful, richly textured music from the UK trumpeter and friends

UK trumpeter Mathew Halsall continues to expand his vision on his second album with the Gondwana Orchestra. It’s not just flowery description to say he disappears into the music, because it’s literally true: There’s virtually no trumpet at all on Into Forever until the brief solo breaks on the title track and the slowly rolling melody of “Daan Park”. The Gondwana sound is texturally richer and more varied than some of Halsall’s earlier work, with long-time associate Rachael Gladwin still on harp but also Keiko Kitamura on koto, a contingent of string players and beautiful flute from Lisa Mallett on “The Land Of” and “Longshan Temple”. There’s also percussion to complement Luke Flowers’ drums, and a stronger groove element in the music overall—but by the same token, there are some tracks without any drums, including three short string interludes. Most significantly, five vocal tracks give Into Forever a kind of modern pop feel: Josephine Oniyama comes on board for four songs (three of which she co-wrote), and the closing “Jamais Vu” features its co-writer Bryony Jarman-Pinto.

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