Nat Birchall Quintet: Live in Larissa

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Nat Birchall Quintet
LABELS: Siund Soul & Spirit Records
ALBUM TITLE: Nat Birchall Quintet: Live in Larissa
WORKS: Live in Larissa, Divine Harmony in Duende Jazz Bar
PERFORMER: Nat Birchall (saxophone), Adam Fairhall (piano) etc.
CATALOGUE NO: NB 003 (2 LPs)

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With two overt tributes to the legendary John Coltrane (Bill Lee’s ‘John Coltrane’ and Alice Coltrane’s ‘Journey in Satchidananda’), his spirit pervades these performances. And if you’re going to be influenced (and who isn’t somewhere along the line), be influenced by the best. Birchall’s band doesn’t slavishly copy the great man’s style, but channels it, evoking his passion, adventurousness, spirituality and emotional generosity. These two sessions, recorded in Greece last year, are a joy throughout.

And the band were so pleased with the warm character of the recording, they felt only vinyl could do it justice. Although the album is available as a download (on iTunes), I’d recommend the two-LP version in its handsome gatefold. The quintet works beautifully as a unit, with solos ebbing and flowing from the themes, all by Birchall except the two mentioned above.

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Barry Witherden