The earliest work we've ever heard from tenorist Nat Birchall
– a player who's really blown our minds with his recent albums from the UK! This set's from the late 90s, and already has Birchall
really finding his voice – a freewheeling approach to tenor that's unlike most of his contemporaries, and definitely steeped in strong influences from the spiritual jazz generation! Yet while recent records have Nat
in a more meditative mode, the sound here is almost more explosive – with echoes of 60s avant in the mix, amidst some bold rhythmic impulses from the group – almost with a quality that reminds us of some of those brilliant moments when an American soloist would combine with a European combo in the heady 60s scene. In addition to Birchall
's tenor, the group also features John Hulme on trumpet and flugelhorn, Richard Wetherall on piano, Dave Tompkins on bass, and Danny Ward on drums – and titles include "Redemption", "Helix Nebula", "Unity Blues", "Passion Dance", and "Ism Schism".