Spiritual Jazz has been music near and dear to us at Flea Market Funk. Introduced like most people to it by brother John Coltrane, we kept the conversations going with Roland Kirk, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Albert Ayler and others similar. This type of jazz music could really get you to another plane. Many could listen to it, but were they hearing exactly what these elders had to say? Fast forward to present day and a cat like Kamasi Washington is talking with the spirits of these elders, making music as close as it could be without being them. Enter Nat Birchall. Tenor and soprano saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and channel to a higher sound, Birchall is keeping the flame lit for jazz of the spiritual kind. Taking what he could from the teachers of this knowledge before him and creating his own sound from that base, Nat Birchall has put out one hell of a jazz record. Forget that it’s 2015, just close your eyes. It’s Ascension in 1966. It’s Karma 1969. It’s 1971 Harlem Bush Music (take your pick on which one). Nat Birchall’s music transcends time and space. Since Kamasi Washington’s opus The Epic, I’d been waiting for someone to step up and bring more of this beautiful to light in the way it should be. Inspiraional and spiritual, Invocations takes the listener on a journey that will put you on a higher level. Music can do that to you, you just have to be willing to let it. Birchall has let those spirits of the elders enter him and manifest into something that’s not just good for a Monday morning, it’s good for you always. Out on Jazzman Records on October 23, this one is for record shelves. Currently in heavy rotation. Check out clips from this massive record below:
For what it’s worth, He has been putting out music like this for years going back to his debut album “The Sixith Sense” to his work with Matthew Hassell. I really enjoyed “The Epic” but much of the hype behind that comes from the image that is associated with Washington. I’ve heard way too many “he’s bringing jazz back” from people who didn’t realize that there was still plenty of great jazz music being made these days.