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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nat Birchall Quintet: Live In Larissa

Read "Live In Larissa" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

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 ...


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