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An Ever Changing View - Matthew Halsall

Gage Quinn | 12th October 2023 | Review

I’d guess that when most people think of jazz, they imagine huge ensembles of horns playing long improvised solos and dissonant harmonies. Either that or the complete inverse; they imagine something stripped back and Lo-Fi. Maybe an out-of-tune keyboard playing extended chords over some crackly sampled drums. Manchester trumpeter Matthew Halsall’s most recent album, ‘An Ever Changing View’ gives us a relaxing jazz record that is also rich in timbre, texture, and musicianship.


Pianos, Kalimbas, soft percussion, and ride cymbals are heard throughout as the main foundation of Halsall’s compositions. Each track is adorned with tasteful trumpet solos. While not the most technically complicated, the melodic trumpet lines showcase Halsall’s control and tone on the instrument clearly. The album opens with sounds of nature and ambient chords before easing into the kalimba of ‘Water Street’. This is the first full-length track of the album, and it introduces the listener to the multi-instrumental layering that is found throughout. It’s better to think of this album as one piece split into 10 movements. Each track flows into the next in such a way that you will miss when each track ends and another starts if you’re not paying full attention. Because of this seamless listening experience, this album is perfect for switching off and relaxing, however, the detail put into this album also makes for a good critical-listening experience. One of my personal highlights of the album is track 7: ‘Jewels’ which treats the listener to some saxophone melodies alongside the staple trumpet and piano.


I’d be lying if I said that this was the type of jazz I would typically go for. However, what I think Matthew Halsall has created is an example of how good ambient jazz can be when intentional decision making has been brought into the composition. ‘An Ever Changing View’ works well because it is driven by attention to detail and tasteful musicianship, rather than shallow aesthetics.


Check out the artist:

Gage Quinn

Hi, I'm Gage. I am a student and photographer in Manchester with an interest in journalism. I decided to start Cebu as a way to give a platform to ideas surrounding sustainability in the music industry. I hope to see real change and for the industry to become a better place. Through transparency and sustainable practices I believe that we can collectively achieve that.

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