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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nat Birchall: Live In Larissa

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This limited double vinyl and download collection is a wonderful document of two nights that Birchall and his band played at the Duende Jazz Bar in Larissa during May 2013. The trip appears to have made an enormous impression on Birchall who commented shortly after returning that “I think our visit will become one of the defining experiences of my life..." drawing inspiration from people who were “the most spiritual, warm-hearted and generous I have ever met...." The band that Birchall took to Greece was basically that which cut World Without Form in 2012 shorn of Andy Hay ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nat Birchall Quintet: Live In Larissa

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Two shows on the tiny stage of the Duende Jazz Bar in Larissa, Greece, in May 2013, form the basis for the Nat Birchall Quintet's Live In Larissa: a live album that provides a welcome and impressive addition to Birchall's discography.Birchall, a master of soprano and tenor saxophones who's based in the north west of England, has long been inspired by the music and spirituality of John Coltrane. The appearance here of Bill Lee's “John Coltrane" and Alice Coltrane's “Journey In Satchidananda" serves to underline this inspiration--both tunes get sympathetic, beautifully-judged, performances from all five band members.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nat Birchall: World Without Form

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In a world that often seems bereft of any sense of spirituality it's good to know that performers like saxophonist Nat Birchall are still true to the spirituality of music. Birchall, based in the northeast of England, continues to create beautiful, soulful, music on his fifth album as leader, World Without Form, in the company of some of the UK's finest young players.Birchall's avowed love of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders remains clear in his playing, such as his lovely tenor intros to “Dream Of Eden" and “Divine Harmony," and in his use of percussion. His love of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nat Birchall: Sacred Dimension

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Just outside the Victorian architectural splendor of the city of Manchester lies some of England's most beautiful countryside. The area is home to a small group of musicians whose contemporary take on the music of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, among others, is creating some of the finest and most spiritual sounds around. Trumpeter Matthew Halsall, head of Gondwana Records, is one member of this group. Nat Birchall is a key figure, and Sacred Dimension, his fourth album, finds the saxophonist/composer combining Coltrane influences with the stark beauty of the Lancashire moors to create an exquisitely engaging recording.

INTERVIEWS

Nat Birchall: Alone In The Music

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Two of the most over-used phrases in music journalism are “overnight star" and “out of nowhere," and so apologies for starting with them here. But when it comes to describing British saxophonist Nat Birchall, they have an unusual degree of exactitude. Birchall, born in 1957 in the rural seclusion of the hill country of North-West England, where he still lives in 2010, and a saxophonist since 1979, didn't make an impression on Britain's national jazz scene until 2009, when he released his second album, Akhenaten, on fellow Lancastrian, trumpeter Matthew Halsall's Gondwana label. The media embrace was immediate, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nat Birchall: Guiding Spirit

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Nat BirchallGuiding SpiritGondwana Records2010 Who would have guessed that a group of musicians in the brash English city of Manchester would, in 2010, be rekindling the astral jazz forged by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and harpist and pianist Alice Coltrane in the late 1960s? But it's happening, and happening with luminous conviction. The musicians are centered around trumpeter Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records label. Saxophonist Nat Birchall's Guiding Spirit is Gondwana's fourth release--following his own Akhenaten (2009) and Halsall's Sending My Love (2008) and Colour Yes (2009)--and is played by the same ...



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