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Richard Sinclair - What In The World

Richard Sinclair - What In The WorldRichard Sinclair should need no introduction but a short resume is available for newcomers to the prog-Canterbury-jazz scene in my recent review of Richard’s Live Tracks album.

What In The World was recorded in Harlingen Grote Kerk (a church in The Netherlands) in 1996 but has only just been released for the wider audience.  Up to now, this special signed CDR release was on sale in the Harlingen church entrance, with a proportion of the proceeds going to the organ restoration fund.  This impromptu set came about after Richard invited his Saturday night jazz-rock audience to a late Sunday morning English breakfast in the gig-tent then, and I quote, frogmarching them off to church for an unrehearsed set of favourite tunes.

Accompanied only by David Rees Williams on the church’s 1776 Hinsz orgel and, on a couple of tracks, Tony Coe’s sublime clarinet, Richard sings some old favourites such as For Absent friends, What’s Rattlin’, Fol De Rol and Calyx.  In addition there is the title track What In The World (also on the Live Tracks CD) and Long Lingers Autumntime, which is one I haven’t heard until now.

David Rees Williams performs some instrumental tracks (Out Of The Shadows, Felafel Shuffle) on the church organ, which have moments that wouldn’t be out of place on a Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman album.  Bass, guitar and percussion would, you might think, be missed but you would be wrong.  Richards voice combines beautifully with the organ resulting in the warm ambience of an early Autumnal morning.  The intimacy of the venue (the occasional cough and applause from the audience) adds atmosphere to this laid back recording.

A few musicians have recorded church organ for inclusion in the final mix of an album, but not many go the whole hog of putting on a performance in a church.  The acoustics on What In The World are very good making this an excellent recording.  This is just the album for relaxing to after a heavy evening’s gigging the night before.  A word of warning to the gourmets out there; Full English Breakfast is not provided with the CD.

Details of how to order What In The World are available on Richard’s web site (see below for link).  Bacon, eggs, beans and bread can be purchased from Sainsbury’s or other good grocers!

Jem Jedrzejewski


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