Ever been to one of those shows that’s *SO* great, after the final encore and you’ve come back down to earth, some part of your brain thinks “I really hope they recorded that!” Then by design or by luck if that occurred, often when listening to the recording later on, it’s just not the same. It’s like looking a photo of a Picasso—something gets lost in the attempt to reproduce the experience. Cue disappointment. So I’m always impressed when a live record successfully manages to fully capture both quality audio *AND* the spirit of the event. Nat Birchall’s ‘Live in Larissa’ is one of those records. It’s a top shelf recording of a red hot performance in front of a totally amped crowd who are hanging on every moment. Especially the more exploratory ones—this quintet isn’t afraid to take risks, and when they take flight they manage to achieve escape velocity quickly, regularly and with a great deal of creativity. Even with most tunes reaching well past the ten minute mark, there are no meandering moments, dead ends, or grandstanding solos. Not that there aren’t impressive solos…the piano solo in “Return to Ithaca” will bring you to your knees! I’d been hoping for a repress of ‘Live in Larissa’ as the original LP is rare. Well it’s back @bandcamp in a limited edition of 500 so act fast. The modal/spiritual grooves here are so thick you’d need a chainsaw to cut through them. I’m stoked to have this in my collection, and you will be too. Available on digital services for those without turntables. Nat Birchall-tenor/soprano sax, Adam Fairhall-piano, Corey Mwamba-vibes/bells, Nick Blacka-bass, Paul Hession-drums. Recorded live May 2013 at Duende Jazz Bar, Larissa, Greece. PS—On Side C of this double LP, they take Alice Coltrane’s “Journey to Satchidananda” on a 13 minute ride to a pretty fantastic place @natbirchallmusic @bandcamp