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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Deep Whole Trio @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 10

Paul Dunmall (reeds); Paul Rogers (7-string bass); Mark Sanders (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew) 
This was billed as a European free jazz supergroup and this Splinter/JNE gig certainly lived up to the advanced hype. The trio hit the ground running from the first note of the first set to the very last blast of the second set. The last couple of improvised gigs that I’d attended had taken a while to get going but, somehow, these 3 guys managed to find their groove immediately.
The band continually built up wave upon wave of fascinating rhythms and riffs. At times, one would drift off for a few seconds only to be brought back to full concentration by a fascinating passage of improvisation. Rogers and his custom built 7 string double bass, shaped like a giant pineapple, is the most animated bass player I have ever seen. At times, he appeared almost to be having a wrestling match with his instrument and if his bow had been a saw he would have sliced through the double bass in seconds.
Dunmall played various saxophones throughout, including, to great effect, the electronic ewi. Meanwhile, Sanders produced a masterclass on percussion incorporating a wide range of implements to produce a wonderful assortment of sounds. The name of the band emphasises that age-old cliché of the sum of the parts being greater than the individual elements (virtuoso though they maybe).  A uniquely magical experience which really leaves you wondering how on earth it was done for there were no smoke or mirrors evident in this performance.
Steve H.

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