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Nat Birchall - Sacred Dimension - out on Gondwana Records

Nat Birchall Sacred Dimension
Nat Birchall - Sacred Dimension
(CD/LP/Digital) Gondwana Records, 2011-11-28

If you are a spiritual jazz amateur and you've never heard about Nat Birchall, well you should be happy to discover this understated but essential saxophonist. Nat lives in the hills region near Manchester, England, and he's been playing sax for 30 years, being a fine reggae musician in the beginning, then moving to the world of jazz. Gondwana Records is proud to release the third Nat Birchall solo record, Sacred Dimension, a deep, peaceful and moving album which reaches mystical heights. In his quest Nat Birchall is joined by the exquisite Rachel Gladwin on harp (an instrument rarely heard on western jazz), Corey Mwamba on vibes, Nick Blacka on bass, Andy Hay on drums and Adam Fairhall on piano. This is nocturnal music, modal jazz at its best, on a quality label run by trumpeter Matthew Halsall - definitely worth to follow.

Nat Birchall Sacred Dimension
Nat Birchall - Sacred Dimension
(CD/LP/Digital) Gondwana Records, 2011-11-28

Tracklisting :
01. Ancient World 9:52
02. Sacred Dimension 7:48
03. Dance of The Mystic 8:03
04. Peace In Nineveh 8:51
05. Radiant Will 6:46

Links :
Nat Birchall : official | discogs | facebook | myspace | soundcloud | twitter
Gondwana Records : official | discogs | facebook | flickr | myspace | twitter | youtube

Press Release
Over the last few years British saxophonist and composer Nat Birchall has carved out a singular niche for himself. A deeply soulful, spiritual saxophonist whose beautiful recordings for the Gondwana label have moved people to suggest that the spirit of Coltrane was alive and well in Northern England. But Birchall is more than a slavish imitator of Coltrane’s sound there is a sense of tranquility and depth of feeling in Birchall’s music that recalls more than just Coltrane’s notes and a desire for honest, soulful communication.

For Birchall Sacred Dimension is a clear progression from his two most recent albums, building on Akhenaten’s spiritual wholeness and Guiding Spirits fuller sound, but with a new richer, deeper sound. Harpist Rachel Gladwin features on all tracks bringing her own beautiful, folk tinged, take on jazz harp to the music and vibist Corey Mwamba guests (who Birchall met in Arun Ghosh’s band) and brings a soulful openness to the music as well as a real energy. Wonderful, empathetic pianist Adam Fairhall remains from the last two recordings. A beautiful player who manages to sound free while always serving the music. Fairhall’s luminous playing and complete commitment does much to illuminate the music as does new bass player Nick Blacka whose big strong sound and ability to vary the bass line without losing the essential character of the music does much to drive the album. There is a change in drummer with Andy Hay, who Birchall describes ‘as a force of nature’ bringing a powerful conviction to the music playing as he does 100% in the moment.

Nat Birchall Bio
This year Nat Birchall celebrates 30 years of playing the saxophone. During that time he has been quietly working on his craft, slowly but surely progressing towards a style and concept that best communicates his view of the universe. Initially inspired by the great horn men of Jamaica, people like Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Tommy McCook and Cedric Brooks, Nat found his way into the music of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and the whole world of Jazz, before finding his own voice on his instrument. Along the way he has played in many different musical situations, playing Turkish Folk/Jazz with percussionist Akay Temiz, forming the ground-breaking “Corner Crew” which experimented with elements of Jazz and Hip Hop, and the heavy Roots Reggae of Dubdadda. Nat’s quintet, “The Sixth Sense” made his debut CD of the same name in 1999. The album was well received and was one of Jazzwise magazine’s editor’s CDs of the year, earning a 4 star review. Unusually amongst UK musicians, Nat’s sound and concept has been favourably compared to John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Charles Lloyd. Nat currently plays in Matthew Halsall’s adventurous groups, appearing on his “Sending My Love” CD, as well as performing with Arun Ghosh’s Indo-Jazz ensemble, Jon Thorne’s Oedipus Mingus and guitarist Gary Boyle’s quartet. For fans of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd.

Some unreleased tracks :

A Prayer For... by nat birchall

Blue Nile by nat birchall
Nicolas Ragonneau

Nicolas Ragonneau

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