Paul Dunmall Octet
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Paul Dunmall Octet Paul Dunmall tenor sax

Simon Picard
tenor sax

Paul Rutherford
trombone

Hilary Jeffery
trombone

Gethin Liddington
trumpet

Keith Tippett
piano

Paul Rogers
bass

Tony Levin
drums
Great Divide

This acclaimed tenor saxophonist and multi-reedsman leads his Octet through a mixture of tightly composed pieces and free improvisation. Included are some of the very best players in British Jazz, including all four members of the amazing free-jazz collective Mujician.

The Paul Dunmall Octet was founded in 1996. Desire and Liberation was released on Slam that year. Cuneiform Records have since released the Octet’s second and third releases, Bebop Starburst in 1999 and now, The Great Divide. Cuneiform has released all five Mujician CDs; the latest, Spacetime, was released in January 2002.

For thirty years Paul Dunmall has carved out a reputation for himself and is now widely recognised as one of the most uncompromising and talented reeds players on the British and international jazz scene. Whether playing in small groups or big bands his musical sensitivity and imagination combine with a powerful sound to make him one of the most distinctive improvisers playing today. His Octet showcases his abilities both as a composer drenched in bebop, free jazz and folk traditions, and as a sympathetic leader able to give maximum freedom to an elite group of fellow improvisers.

After turning professional at seventeen and touring Europe for two years with the progressive rock group Marsupilami, Paul Dunmall lived in America for three years playing with musicians such as Alice Coltrane and touring for a year with Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. Back in England he played with Danny Thompson and John Stevens as well as folk musicians Polly Bolton, Kevin Dempsey and Martin Jenkins. In 1979 he became a founder member of Spirit Level with pianist Tim Richards. In 1987 Paul joined Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra. The following year the outstanding improvising collective quartet Mujician was formed with Tony Levin, Paul Rogers and Keith Tippett. Paul also maintains duo playing and recording partnerships with both Paul Rogers and Tony Levin, and has for a long time been a regular playing partner with Elton Dean. Paul has appeared in a trio with Keith and Julie Tippett, with whom he is visiting tutor at Dartington Summer School of Music.

Paul is currently featured soloist with the Brian Irvine Ensemble and in recent years he has formed two trios, the first with tuba player Oren Marshall and percussionist Steve Noble; the second with John Adams, guitar, and Mark Sanders, percussion; the two bands sometimes combining to play as a quintet. More recently, Paul has played in another reeds/guitar/drums trio with Philip Gibbs and Tony Marsh and another trio with Gibbs and mridangam player ‘Balu’ Balachandar. Since setting up his own label Duns Limited Editions last year, Paul has released eight CDs including one featuring bagpipes, his second solo recording. Other forward-looking labels Paul has recorded with in recent years include hatOLOGY, Matchless Recordings, ECM, FMP and Emanem.


… Paul Dunmall’s Octet has the requisite chemistry to become a perennial powerhouse on the international scene—Jazz Times

This is music [Bebop Starburst] that deserves the widest exposure, the kind of thing that the Founding Fathers of bop would love to have done but lacked either the wherewithal or the final jump of imagination. Excellent modern music, with ties to the past—Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

An outstanding release [The Great Divide]—The Wire

… it doesn't matter a whit whether the music's written or free … The music's largely as dazzling as liquid mercury … Their displays of personal expression, whether in unisons, in collective improvisations or in solos, are infused with life and vivacity—Down Beat (**** The Great Divide)

As with Dunmall's earlier Octet recording on Cuneiform, Bebop Starburst, the breadth and depth of the music on this recording [The Great Divide] is truly mind-boggling … This is not merely 'Britjazz', but jazz which takes its place front and centre on the world stage—BBC Web Site

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