Album: Nat Birchall, Akhenaten (Gondwana)

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The Independent Culture

More spiritual jazz from Manchester.

Saxophonist Birchall, who guested on trumpeter Matthew Halsall’s recent Colour Yes for the same label, is strikingly impressive on his own, deeply Coltranefixated mini-album. Playing tenor throughout in a mid-to-late ’Tranequartet format, with Halsall adding trumpet on the title track, Birchall sounds amazingly soulful, each solo gathering intensity as it progresses. There’s an endearing lack of tricksiness, with everything serving the spacey aesthetic of the overall project.