Paul Dunmall Octet
Born in 1953, in Welling, Kent, Paul Dunmall is today one of the leading players in the european improvisation arena. Leading his Octet, amidst Mujician (with Keith Tippett, Paul Rogers and Tony Levin) or with one of diverse formations he colaborates with, Dunmall has come to develop a music that has its roots both in post-bop and “avant-garde” Jazz.
This conjunction of languages, a good reflection of today’s diversity and restlessness, has given birth to some of the most fascinating Jazz that is being done today, simple and simultaneously complex. Always inspiring!
In his compositions, Dunmall always gives great freedom to his sidemen, including lengthy improvisations showcasing the individual work of each soloist, in the Octet’s case all of them brilliant improvisers. However, there is never any doubt about who’s in charge. No one better than Dunmall to achieve this difficult balance between freedom and structure.
As a saxophone player, Dunmall is one of the most requested european improvisers, having played and recorded with names like Barry Guy, Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Danny Thompson, Elton Dean, Barre Phillips, John Stevens, Kevin Norton, John Butcher or Alice Coltrane.
“Bridging”, recorded live at the “Jazz em Agosto” Festival held by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in what was one of the most exhilarating moments of the Festival, takes further the music previously recorded on “The Great Divide”, an essencial landmark in the musician’s discography.
In the “liner notes” he wrote for the CD, Bill Shoemaker pinpoints the fact that “large chunks of ‘The Great Divide’ are improviser-driven by design”. This causes the piece to gain, live, its fundamental breathing space, being able to fulfill completely the principles of its composition: to serve the individual improvisations of each soloist. With this structure, Dunmall bridges the dividing line between traditional composing and real time composing, improvised, achieving another key recording of contemporary Jazz with its roots in the new european improvisation.