Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

7

Album Review

Nat Birchall Sextet: Exaltation / Live In Athens Vol 1

Read "Exaltation / Live In Athens Vol 1" reviewed by Chris May


The saxophonist Nat Birchall is, alongside his friend the trumpeter Matthew Halsall, one of the instigators of the spiritual jazz scene centred around the northern British city of Manchester, two hundred miles and a lifestyle north of London. Birchall self-released his debut album, The Sixth Sense, in 1999. John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane were among his formative influences and his music continues along the trajectory they mapped out. Birchall last recorded with his ...

12

Album Review

Nat Birchall: The Storyteller: A Musical Tribute To Yusef Lateef

Read "The Storyteller: A Musical Tribute To Yusef Lateef" reviewed by Chris May


The deification of Yusef Lateef, which began only after his passing in 2013, rests on the first decade of his long recording career, from 1957—1967, when he extended the language of jazz to include elements of Asian and Middle Eastern musics while recording for Savoy, Prestige and Impulse. After a second decade with Atlantic, where he recorded ten stonkingly good soul-jazz albums, Lateef took up with Creed Taylor's CTI and began a sad decline into noodling wallpaper music. This period ...

4

Album Review

Nat Birchall: Obeah Man

Read "Obeah Man" reviewed by Chris May


Welcome to the latest analog-era time warp... the vinyl revival has rebirthed the 45rpm seven-inch jazz single. The format faded away in the 1960s. Even back then, chart hits such as Stan Getz's “Desafinado" (Verve, 1962) were freak events, but before the coming of album playing FM radio stations, an edited version of an album track could be powerful promo on mainstream radio--and as Bob Weinstock, founder of the Prestige label, told an interviewer in 1959, “The four best promo ...

13

Album Review

Nat Birchall: Cosmic Language

Read "Cosmic Language" reviewed by Chris May


Spiritual jazz resonates most deeply during times of social stress and turmoil. It was, after all, created by African American musicians who were engaged with the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Later given the alternative description Afrofuturist jazz, the music had one foot planted in science fiction-inspired magical realism and the other in black consciousness-inspired social activism. The balance varied from musician to musician, but even the most magical realist among them--a grouping which would include Alice Coltrane, Pharoah ...

15

Extended Analysis

Nat Birchall: Creation

Read "Nat Birchall: Creation" reviewed by Phil Barnes


Coming less than a year after the 2015 release Invocations on Henley's Jazzman records, Creation finds Nat Birchall back on his own Sound Soul and Spirit label. Long term collaborator Adam Fairhall on piano, and Johnny Hunter on drums are retained from that record and we welcome back Andy Hay as a second drummer, last heard on 2011's 'Sacred Dimension' as well as saying hello to new boy Michael Bardon on bass. Whether influenced by the line-up changes ...

18

Extended Analysis

Nat Birchall: Invocations

Read "Nat Birchall: Invocations" reviewed by Phil Barnes


There is a feeling of a new beginning on this collection from Nat Birchall. Superficially the album is released on Henley-on-Thames' Jazzman records rather than Birchall's own Sound Soul and Spirit records, on which he released the wonderful World Without Form and classic Live in Larissa. More tangibly only Adam Fairhall on piano remains from those two collections, representing the last common link to the pool of musicians Birchall and Matthew Halsall drew from in their classic collaborations on Gondwana ...

63

Extended Analysis

Nat Birchall: Live In Larissa

Read "Nat Birchall: Live In Larissa" reviewed by Phil Barnes


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 ...


Engage

Contest Giveaways
Enter our latest contest giveaway sponsored by AGS Recordings

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.