Gilles Peterson has referred to Nat Birchall as “one of the best musicians in the UK” and the saxophonist truly is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of UK jazz to discover and indeed rediscover. His new album, a fantastic cosmic and spiritual jazz effort comes as ‘Cosmic Language’, a four piece EP invoking the spirits of Alice and John Coltrane for their western take on Indian ragas but also more classical elements worthy of Yusef Lateef.
The monumental 10 minute opening track is an intoxicating eulogy to the marriage between western jazz and the spirituality of northern India and its title ‘Man from Varanasi’ could perhaps honour Shiva’s credit for evolving music and dance especially in Varanasi or an homage to the incredible musicians coming from there such as Ravi Shankar and Bismillah Khan, whose influences are also present on the EP.
‘Cosmic Language’ comes across as an honest work of love for jazz, for its spiritual expression and its social relevance and as the name indicates, for the new language it gave birth to, a universal language perhaps which is immediately eligible in Birchall’s work. However, above everything else the first thing which comes across is Nat Birchall’s holistic tenor presence on every single one of the four tracks, a leading force of the saxophone as you would expect, blind fully followed by the harmonium into the abyss of the Cosmos.
The EP is due out on 9th of March, on the legendary imprint Jazzman Records in both digital but also physical formats such as Vinyl and CD.
Tracklist:A1 - Man From Varanasi
A2 - Humility
B1 - A Prayer For
B2 - Dervish