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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dwight Trible: Mothership

Read "Mothership" reviewed by Chris May

The Beatles' Revolver (Parlophone, 1966), recorded while the band were out of their skulls on high-voltage lysergic acid diethylamide, was the first masterpiece of British psychedelic rock. One of the album's highlights, the sitar-drenched closing track, “Tomorrow Never Knows," still sounds potent enough to trigger a flashback.

Remarkably, Dwight Trible's version of “Tomorrow Never ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Gondwana Orchestra: Colors

Read "Colors" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders is often imitated but, never matched. His spiritual free-floating style, marked by his distinctive tenor saxophone tone makes him instantly recognizable. On Colors, the Gondwana Orchestra does not attempt to mimic the master, as the album does not include a single saxophonist. Instead of saxophone, the focus is on pianist Taz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chip Wickham: Shamal Wind

Read "Shamal Wind" reviewed by Chris May

British flautist and saxophonist Chip Wickham is a graduate of the fertile 1990s modal-jazz scene in the northern city of Manchester. It has produced some stellar talents, amongst whom saxophonist Nat Birchall and trumpeter Matthew Halsall shine most prominently. But while Birchall and Halsall, who guests on one track on Shamal Wind, have each notched up ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star

Read "A Humdrum Star" reviewed by Phil Barnes

If 2016's Man Made Object, their first for Blue Note, was an exercise in consolidating past triumphs while signposting potential ways forward, then there can be no doubt that with A Humdrum Star GoGo Penguin have stepped into a version of that future. Ostensibly the title is a self-effacing reference to a Carl Sagan TV series ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mammal Hands: Shadow Work

Read "Shadow Work" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Our best musicians can soak up influences from many diverse sources, assimilate them into their own style, and allow them to emerge during improvisation. This is why, as readers of this site will surely be aware, a piece can sound different in the hands of two skilled jazz musicians even when the raw material of the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dwight Trible: Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)

Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Having worked with the likes of the Pharoah Sanders Quartet and Kamasi Washington the musical fit between Los Angeles native Dwight Trible and Manchester's Gondwana records should be self- evident. This album was conceived as a combination of joint favourites and spiritual jazz classics chosen by Trible and Gondwana label boss Matthew Halsall, after a couple ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chip Wickham: La Sombra

Read "La Sombra" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Twenty-five years into his career as a professional musician, saxophonist and flautist Chip Wickham has released his solo debut. La Sombra, recorded in Madrid with three excellent musicians from that city's jazz scene, is gorgeous.

Wickham hails from Manchester, in north-west England. The area is home to some distinctive musicians, most notably trumpeter Matthew ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mammal Hands: Floa

Read "Floa" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Mammal Hands debut album Animalia from autumn 2014 impressed with its emphasis on the overall collective effect over solo pyrotechnics, a choice that perfectly complemented the build and release of tension in the music. Of course in a trio set up the contributions of each member are always discernible and the twist of substituting Jordan Smart's ...