[1 March 2010]
Jazz music has been on the radar of Great Britain since World War II, but not since the heyday of Ronnie Scott has there been an English jazz player who has garnered as much buzz as trumpeter Matthew Halsall. Halsall, who also DJs and runs Gondwana Records, continues to make waves with Colour Yes, his second full-length and one of the best jazz albums of 2009. These six tracks find Halsall expanding upon his Chet Baker-cum-Miles Davis modal blowing by recruiting harpist Rachael Gladwin, whose seamless finger-play gives compositions like the 11-minute-long “Together” and the gorgeous closer “Me and You” the feel of a lost Alice Coltrane LP. Elsewhere, shades of Halsall’s DJ gig shine through on the danceable “Mudita” while the epic “I’ve Been Here Before” showcases his current septet’s incredible fluidity. One can only be certain Colour Yes is only a sign of greater things to come from this young lion of the UK bop scene.