GONDCD006 – Nat Birchall – Sacred Dimension
All compositions by Nat Birchall
Release date: Monday 28th November 2011.
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.
The album will be released on Gondwana Records on Monday 28th November 2011.