Nigel Hall (keyboardist and vocalist for funk phenoms, Lettuce) has released his latest solo album titled Spiritual: an honest, creative and brave reflection about Hall’s personal journey with the metaphysical. He really channels listeners into believing in their own path towards higher self-discovery. The takeaway — free yourself. Make music (or whatever your preferred art form is) for you, not them. Listen to your intuition and let the magic unfold…
“This record, I had full creative control,” says Hall.
“As you listen, understand that this record was made with the intention to let go of certain things, so that I could grow. This record is for me.” Hall’s work is an inspiring lesson in recognizing our own inner power and following our own flow. It’s all about learning to love yourself for exactly who you are and expressing yourself freely.
Hall puts an emphasis on transmitting to listeners the vibe and soul of his music, making himself a conduit of the unique style of jazz-inflected old-school multi-genre style that flows out of him. The tracks on Spiritual are reminiscent of 70s classic R&B, mixed in with Hall’s well-known funkiness and old soul feel, melting the bottoms. Naturally, the essence of jazz is soaked in throughout.
Recorded with a back-to-basics approach in Richmond, VA at the world-famous Jellowstone Studios, the 14-song album includes features from esteemed artists such as Patrice Rushen, Marcus King, Ryan Zoidis (of Lettuce) and Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band). The vinyl edition also includes a bonus track not available on digital service providers, titled “Words”.
“One of the reasons I wanted to record at Jellowstone is because, sonically, we (Butcher Brown) are alike. The rule was if the instruments aren’t older than us (or recorded with that specific intent), we couldn’t use them.”
‘Spiritual’ goes a long way toward illuminating just how much scope there is to Nigel Hall’s artistry.
In songs like “Caribou” or “Gotta Go to Work”, Hall is nonchalant and easygoing. But, in others (like “A Brother’s Love”, dedicated to the late Kofi Burbridge), the sentiment hits a deeper chord without him even opening his mouth. Proving himself throughout his career as a true student of music, this latest work showcases Hall as an upperclassman in harnessing the creative energy within him, owning it and expressing it beautifully to whoever feels it too. “It is the most honest collection of music I have ever created and being able to celebrate that as a sober human being is a tremendous honor.”
Hall further reflects, “ I had a lot to get off my chest and, with this record, I feel like I’ve been able to release those feelings and demons that were weighing so heavily on me.”
Spiritual is an exemplary example of what can be created when we trust in your own process, your own vision and make art that speaks to your soul rather than what we think the world wants. Guess what? The world still wants it: raw, uniquely you and straight from that beating bleeding heart.
The album closes with a message from George Duke that brings back the true essence of what Hall has accomplished in creating Spiritual and what we, as listeners, should follow suit in — “make the music that you want to play”. Experience the album in its entirety for yourself on all digital outlets.
Purchase or stream ‘Spiritual’ album:
- Jazzy (Intro)
- Wake Me
- Gotta Go to Work
- Baby I Do Love You, feat. Patrice Rushen
- Change Directions, feat. Marcus King
- The Spiritual Interlude, feat. Ryan Zoidis
- People in Search of a Life
- Brother’s Love, feat. Jeff Coffin
- The Sun
- When I Die
- Thank Y’all
- From George, with Love: A Message from George Duke
Album art by AdNoise Studios
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.