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Rogers, Dunmall, Gibbs Paul Dunmall saxophones, bagpipes, ocarina

Paul Rogers
six-string bass

Philip Gibbs
guitars, effects
State of Moksha

The State of Moksha (Duns 022)
Live at the Quaker Centre

Live at the Quaker Centre (Warwick) (Duns 023)
Live at the RMC

The State of Moksha (Live at the Rare Music Club, Bristol) (Duns 024)

Live review by Paul Donnelly at the Frakture Festival in Liverpool, October 2002

The Dunmall trio set started and ended with the saxophonist jingling small bells while Rogers attacked his elegant six-string double bass with the bow. I know that in these ensembles no one player ought to stand out but this bass man did. He caressed, hugged, wrestled with and seemed a part of the instrument. At times I'd swear both he and it hovered inches above the ground as he strummed and extracted waves of dark notes and bowed chords. He looked like someone inspired, the bass and player becoming one. When he soloed you could have heard the dust motes settling around the room.

Dunmall produced lyrically assertive runs from the soprano sax, sitting with eyes closed, before taking up a small double panpipe to counterpoint the energetic bass. He also spat jagged soprano flurries, as terse as Roger's acerbic bowing. When he switched to bagpipes he extracted distressed ululations, both harsh and raw whilst remaining fluent and exciting. It was easy to hear the jazz influences as well as folk musics from the UK and elsewhere. At one point a Balkan melody seemed to emerge at others a ghostly pibroch.

At times Gibbs' electric guitar seemed overshadowed by the sheer energy generated by the other two players. He played it on his lap, plucking and scraping, and at one point it sounded more like a thumb piano than a six string guitar. He picked and pressed the strings to add strands of colour and texture but often it sounded thin, especially when Rogers was at his most ebullient and inspired. Towards the end of the set he coaxed melodic overtones alongside Dunmall's little bells while the audience held its collective breath. I couldn't quite believe it was over and Keith Tippett's assertion about music suspending chronological time came to mind.

Those who were there will no doubt remember this as a high point of the festival, enthralling and challenging music delivered with authority and even a bit of humour. (© Paul Donnelly, 2002)

CD reviews by Downtown Music Gallery in New York. Check their site for reviews and purchases of the great and wonderful!

The State of Moksha [part 1] (Duns 022)

Our favorite British duo (the Pauls) are back again with another pair of live gems from Dunmall's ongoing, self-produced CDR label. This State of Moksha features multi-reed giant Dunmall on soprano sax, vibes, percussion, ocarina and voice, Rogers on his trusty custom-made six string A.L.L. acoustic bass and Mr Gibbs on guitars, autoharp and theremin. Dunmall begins this long work with a spoken word intro about the unique state of Moksha and soon Rogers's bowed bass is blessing us with good spirits, rumbling the low-end, growling and droning. Later Gibbs creates another cosmic world with his autoharp playing haunting, fluttering sounds and soon they quietly combine forces with nimble hand percussion to help us
levitate. The trio take their time to build and add their different instruments, eventually Dunmall's spiraling, snake-charming soprano sax spins its web with Rogers's amazing bowed and plucked bass, as Philip also quietly erupts with quicksilver flashes of guitar notes in streams. The trio build their journey with escalating intensity as it evolves and progresses through layers of well-connected vibrations. Phenomenal throughout its nearly 62-minute duration! Their engineer, Jonathan Scott, continues to do an amazing job of capturing these sessions with a perfect balance and warm sound, just as Paul Dunmall provides us with his elegant paintings on each cover of his limited edition (often of only 50 pieces) CDRs.

The State of Moksha [Live at the Rare Music Club in Bristol] (Duns 024)

This wonderful trio date was recorded live at the Wickham Theatre in May of this year, just a few weeks before we caught the Pauls with Keith Tippett's Tapestry up at the Victoriaville Festival in Quebec. On this one, Paul Dunmall also plays his magical bagpipes, besides that the instrumentation is the same as the above trio date. This one also takes us on a spiritual journey through the sacred worlds that only these three musicians/magicians can create.

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