domenica 15 giugno 2014


Nat Birchall is one of the UK’s most special musicians, a spiritual, soulful saxophonist who has drunk deeply from the endless well that is the music of John Coltrane. A modest man, Birchall is happy out of the limelight but nonetheless has found international acclaim for a series of fine albums on Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana label as well as more recently his own Sound Soul and Spirit imprint. This, his sixth album, is his first ever live recording and is released on vinyl and download only. A decision Birchall took on listening to the tapes and thinking the music really suited the warmth of vinyl. It features the core band from his last recording World Without Form: pianist Adam Fairhall, vibist Corey Mwamba, bassist Nick Blacka (GoGo Penguin) and drummer Paul Hession. They all bring something to the music as Birchall explains: “Adam has been in the band since the beginning and he's there because he understands the music and plays with conviction. Corey is in the band because of his unique approach to playing, it doesn't actually matter that he plays vibes. I asked him to play because of his playing, not his instrument. He is a free spirit but knows when to play and when not to play. Nick is a great bassist who has a great ability to improvise strong melodic lines within his accompaniment, which is actually pretty rare. Paul is a very great drummer who can play seamlessly throughout a piece if it goes from "time" to free tempo and back again, and makes it sound natural”. The recording came about when Birchall played two nights at the Duende Jazz Bar in Larissa, Greece in May 2013 – where, despite the tiny stage, the warm welcome and overwhelmingly positive reaction to the music inspired the band to reach deep within themselves for two nights of truly inspired music. Thankfully the tapes were rolling and despite the tiny stage and proximity of the mics (a nightmare for mixing) the music was really happening. As Birchall recalls: “There was such a positive atmosphere at the gigs, with people so obviously coming to hear the music with open arms ( and ears ) that we felt very blessed to be on stage. I think the record documents how the band sounds on a given night, with original songs, and one or two by other people, played in an extended way. With everyone able to stretch out and play as long as they like”. NAT BIRCHALL QUINTET

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