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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Paul Dunmall Sextet @ Cluny 2. October 29.

 Paul Dunmall (tenor  saxophone, flute &  pipes), Mike Fletcher (alto saxophone & flute), Percy Pursglove (trumpet), Mike Hurley (keyboards), Chris Mapp (double bass) & Mark Sanders (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos by Ken Drew)
We were at his fiftieth and we reconvened this week on the occasion of his sixtieth. In between times some of us caught Paul Dunmall on numerous visits to Tyneside. Now in his sixtieth year, the self effacing reeds maestro looked no different with the passing decade and if anything, sounded better than ever. Dunmall assembled a sextet of ‘masters of their instruments’ to celebrate the milestone with a three date tour. In improv circles a three date tour constitutes a marathon stretch on the road, the equivalent of Led Zeppelin in their prime doing fifty eight nights out of sixty



Cluny 2 (the Cluny’s ‘other space’) drew a good sized crowd (a few short of arena proportions) to hear what Dunnall was up to. Well, what a surprise! On stage (a modest affair) music stands fought for a place amongst the instruments and instrument stands. Rewind…music stands? Sheet music? But this was to be an improv gig. The first of two sets presented Dunmall’s written music – suites I, II, III, IV and more, titles, if any, undisclosed. Frontline woodwind and brass read their parts and in the tradition of Miles and Trane walked off stage leaving the soloist or duo in the spotlight. Piano, bass and drums swung like the proverbial. Mark Sanders, the first call percussionist on the British improv scene, revealed another side to his playing with some of the fiercest, thrilling drumming heard on Tyneside since Martin Drew. Bassist Chris Mapp swung it big time and the two-handed Mike Hurley leapt from French impressionism to the Post Modern with ease. Dunmall and Mike Fletcher worked together as flautists and later as pipers. The bandleader’s tenor solos were of epic proportions, as good as you’ll hear, Fletcher acquitted himself admirably on alto and trumpeter Percy Pursglove gave a brilliant display; development of solo, timing, fingers a blur, breath control.
Written sections gave way to the improvised yet all the while the underlying structure held firm. Many a mainstream fan would have taken something, taken much, from the set. Second set found us on more familiar Dunmall territory. The improviser took centre stage. His band mates were similarly off the leash; Mapp deployed electronics, engaging feedback, Sanders must have bumped his head during the interval because on resumption he was his old improv self! The sceptics (those all too quick to deride the improv form), had they been present, would surely have concluded that it isn’t such a leap from ‘jazz’ to ‘improv’. Who knows, they could have been tempted to purchase a CD on the night. A memorable Paul Dunmall gig. In ten years time there will be another one (and others in the meantime). Make sure you’re there.                

Russell.       

1 comment :

joesh said...

I think there's really only one comment which I could honestly make ..... "I wish I'd been there!", wow sounds like a good evening. Interesting to see Paul in this type of line up. I really liked his recent release with Mark Hanslip "Weeping Idols", interesting to see that band live one of these days.

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