THE SATURDAY MORNING LISTEN
Cast your minds back to 2022 and in the same Pharoanic slipstream The Cradle that maxed out on the sheer feeling of space engendered on 'First Step' pivoting between the bass playing of Seth Ford-Young of US West Coast outfit Phi-Psonics to the floaty flute-playing of Sylvain Carton who also plays tenor saxophone on the album.
On the upcoming Octava clearly the balladic 'Green Dreams' dedicated to Ford-Young's wife is the best track with the slow tick of drummer Josh Collazo a human metronome that has somehow ceased being an inanimate object to deftly choreograph the dance that develops. But most tracks work in terms of a long play listen. Carton is all over the record and the tasteful Wurly playing is the work of Mitchell Yoshida.
Even more relevant since the passing of Pharoah Sanders last September. And even long before. Again the sax titan was at the heart of the awakening. What goes around coming around all the years on since his classic Karma all the way up to his last great statement, the incredible Promises. It is a circle that remains unbroken and the solar ripples span ever outerwards.
Maybe it says in its best expression a poetic commentary on the malaise of Western society more than any news cycle can even make a motion towards. Manchester label Gondwana is the original spiritual jazz label for the 21st century in the UK and while others may dabble at the style and frequently do, there is always a deep sense of exploration with the Halsalls & Mackness heads at the label even when they change tack.
Seth Ford-Young of Phi-Psonics - photo: via Gondwana. The ethereally Celtic tinged 'We Walk in the Gardens of Our Ancestors' is streaming. 'An Offering' is the next single out on Friday 2 June. The full issuing of Octava is on 30 June