Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Azimuth - The Touchstone (1978)
Recorded a year and half prior to Départ, The Touchstone ticks all the Azimuth boxes. It starts with an organ drone (this is where John Taylor started adding the instrument to the Azimuth palette) and Kenny Wheeler's melancholy trumpet smears, before giving way to those circular piano figures and Norma Winstone's soaring voice.
Things then pretty much carry on like that, with one exception - this is the sole Azimuth album (at least out of the original trilogy; my memory's slightly hazy on the '85 and '95 reunions) where Winstone doesn't sing any lyrics at all, but just fills each track with wordless, heavenly vocalising. This is Azimuth at their most supremely chilled - enjoy.