Album: Nat Birchall, Guiding Spirit (Gondwana)

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The Independent Culture

More great spiritual jazz from Manchester.

Inspired by the Impulse! recordings of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, saxophonist Birchall follows up last year's excellent mini-album, Akhenaten, with a full 50 minutes of original tunes. Matthew Halsall blows trumpet on two tracks and Rachael Gladwin plucks harp and kora on another three. What makes the music so satisfying is the way it favours the cohesion of the group as a whole, although Birchall sounds supremely soulful throughout, especially on the title track.