Nat Birchall - Guilding SpiritGondwana Records
It’s hard to listen to Nat Birchall’s latest release and not feel the spirit of John Coltrane swirling in your head. Like the tenor titan, Birchall brings a lot of depth and spirituality to his compositions and surrounds himself with a ensemble of talented musicians to bring out the best in him. On the opening track, “Open Up The Gates”, Birchall starts out with a colorful solo on soprano before building into a intensified and melodic gem. “Keep The Lights Shining is another winner where pianist Adam Fairhall’s harmonic explorations blend perfectly with Birchall’s passionate playing. The disc wraps up with the title track, a beautiful ballad that starts out with the subtle yet moving cymbal playing of drummer Gaz Hughes as well as Chris Manis on percussion. Birchall and Fairhall complement each other well as they ascend to heavenly heights on this emotional composition. Despite the obvious influences, Nat Birchall and company have created a wonderful record that showcases his own voice and asserts him as a musician to keep an eye on. Highly recommended.
Reg Dancy, 11/10