Amazing spiritual jazz release by saxophonist Nat Birchall out in late 2017 via Jazzman. Stumbled upon it while being in Paris lately in a record shop (superfly) and couldn´t stop listening to it.
Think of Marion Brown, Horace Tapscott or Phil Cohran. But then again you´ll find arabic influences on side b like “dervish” or “a prayer for” with harmonium that reminds of Abdou el Omari´s kraut – keyboard 70ies sahel sounds.
A timeless cosmic spiritual jazz masterpiece.
Cosmic Language sees the UK-based saxophonist, composer and arranger return to Jazzman Records with a cross-cultural approach: an exploration of the parallel musical paths of jazz and Indian ragas. Here he takes influence from spiritual jazz forebears such as Alice Coltrane and Yusef Lateef and introduces the Indian harmonium to his band, where it takes the place of the piano. Making new connections to realise his transcendental ambitions, it’s a logical next step in making music as spiritual cleanser.
Crucially, the ragas tap into the idea of of music as a means of spiritual release. As Birchall explains, “The whole act of making music is a spiritual experience. It’s during performance and when playing music that I look for a kind of truth. It’s with music where I find myself feel closest to attaining that ‘enlightened’ kind of feeling.” “On rare occasions I’ve actually felt as though I was listening to the music being played rather than being involved in making it, almost like an out-of-body experience.”
This natural feeling comes from Birchall’s attitude toward jazz music. He sees it as an essential part of day-to-day life: instead of brightly-lit, occasional entertainment in lugubrious concert halls, he considers it an everyday, vital source of inspiration. At a moment where jazz-influenced music is undergoing creative renewal and wider appreciation, it’s an important perspective that’s found resonance elsewhere. His experiences and the world around him are filtered through his music, and he looks to have his music be it live or on record, absorbed in the same quotidian way. To me, it’s an integral part of society, an everyday thing,” he says. “You should hear the music every day.