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Vin Gordon: African Shores

Read "African Shores" reviewed by Chris May

In 2019, British saxophonist Nat Birchall is celebrating twenty years as a bandleader. His specialism is post-John Coltrane spiritual jazz. Since 1999 he has released an album every two years or so. The most recent was the outstanding Cosmic Language (Jazzman, 2018). The next is due later this year. Fittingly for an anniversary year, it will be Birchall's first 2xLP set. Before Birchall became a jazz musician, his big love was reggae, which is where African Shores ...

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Nat Birchall meets Al Breadwinner: Sounds Almighty

Read "Sounds Almighty" reviewed by Chris May

The British tenor saxophonist Nat Birchall has been recording uplifting cosmic-jazz since 1999, when he self-released his debut album, The Sixth Sense, a hard-bop tinged affair which included, in tracks such as the two versions of “Helix Nebula," pointers to his future direction. It took Birchall a decade to come to wider attention, with the release of the early masterpiece Akhenaten on his occasional collaborator, trumpeter Matthew Halsall's Gondwana label in 2009. Since then Birchall has released another seven outstanding ...

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Louis Armstrong and King Oliver: Creole Jazz

Read "Creole Jazz" reviewed by Joel Roberts

The story goes that when young Louis Armstrong arrived in Chicago from New Orleans to join King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, he was so intimidated after hearing the group rehearse for the first time that he tried to flee town for fear that he would be unable to hold his own with them. Just a few months later, Armstrong had so overcome his initial shyness and become such a dominant member of the band that for their first recording date, ...