Folks Duo
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Paul Rogers
© Bruno Barbier
Paul Dunmall saxophones, bagpipes, clarinets, whistles

Paul Rogers
four-, five- and six-string double bass

Folks (SLAM CD 212)

Alien Art

Alien Art (DLE 008)
Ja Ja Spoon

Ja Ja Spoon (DLE 013)

Alien Art CD review

This time Dunmall, especially at the beginning playing soprano, takes a lot more of the air, filling every sound hole with some phrase or another; Rogers functions more as an accompanist. As the saxophonist introduces circular breathing and English ballad motifs that lead him to echoing split tones and violin-like tones, the bassist turns to bowing in an elevated register to sound more than one string at a time.

Negating its appellation, the CD's title track features Dunmall back on bagpipes, but with such naturalness that any alien appearance is banished. Using the penny whistle-like chanter to approach jazz duet territory, his instrument's attachments allow him to hold notes even longer, creating natural overtones and multiphonics. Soon he's producing his own backing ostinato, conjuring up mythical highlands, as Rogers ranges up and down the face of the bass. Eventually, however, the bassist begins to bow some classical sounding themes, too reminiscent of the concert hall setting, before he accelerates into jazz movements.

With Dunmall back on sax, the two undertake a protracted call-and-response routine, with the saxophonist biting his reed more than his lip and Rogers' fingers able to suggest the string bass, a supple guitar and wooden body percussion—Ken Waxman (

Hearing the group's bassist and reed player in isolation helps unpack one – albeit secondary – element of Mujician's distinctive language, which is a folky melodism, traditionless and quite abstract, almost like the bare skeleton of a tune, thrown up as if in X-ray.

Rogers's fierce, almost competitive style is down a notch in this more intimate setting and there is less of his percussive strumming than usual. Alternating four- and five-string basses, though, he still produces a powerful sound, providing an effective bed for Dunmall's full range of clarinets and saxophones
Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (review of Folks)
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