Immediately into the spiritual jazz domain on opener 'At Once Familiar' so on a UK level if you are into Nat Birchall this is for you - international readers it's a Pharoah vibe, and very nicely arranged with harp and woodwind tones that has the earthy tenor sax lead keeping it real. From the north of England it's Leeds scenester tenorist Tony Burkill with bassist Neil Innes, drummer Sam Hobbs, Chris Dawkins on guitar and Gareth Wilkins on harp plus horns core in the sound and with stimulating spoken word from KOG, Kweku of Ghana, all swirling meaningfully in the cosmic vamp-heavy mist.
Burkill back in 2017 released the rousing Work Money Death with some of the same personnel.
'Freedom as a Heartfelt Song' meanders a bit to be fair but taking your time - and lighting a few joss sticks while eyeing a bloody big bong as you listen - is all part of the process. 'Song of Healing' opens with a serene Wilkins touch, there's an Indo flavour and Burkill experiments with distortion and is more Albert Ayler-like here which is interesting. 'Same As Before' has the ''spatial reality'' spoken word element and the bass riff practically chants along within the dotted-by-livewire percussive groove. Pretty good overall - more please soon. Out today
Tony Burkill, photo: press