This was a magnificent gig with all the power and drama that the best of improvised music can generate. Paul Dunmall was leading a sextet of young improvisers with Percy Pursglove, trumpet, Mike Fletcher, alto sax, Richard Foote, trombone, Chris Mapp, double bass and Tymek Jozwiak, drums. Paul played just the tenor saxophone.
They played two sets each of about 40 mins and each set was divided between full on ensemble passages and sections where two or three of the front line instruments interacted, usually with the support of the rhythm players, but sometimes without. There were also passages with just Mapp on bass and Jozwiak on drums. The passages with the whole ensemble had an exciting intensity, but it was when the music broke down into a series of interactions between two or three players that it most impressed. Fletcher and Foote played off each other and then Dunmall and Pursglove pushed each other into interesting territories. There was a memorable interaction between Fletcher and Pursglove in the second set in which Pursglove’s mellow lines contrasted with Fletcher’s more convoluted lines.
Dunmall was amazing throughout; what is remarkable about his playing is that he has the ability to come into the mix at exactly the right time, and also to know how to react in the moment to improvisations of his fellow musicians in a way that complements and adds to what they are playing.
Mapp and Jozwiak provided a wonderful basis for the improvisations with plenty of drama as well as adding their own driving duo sections.
So this was a special gig appreciated by a packed room at the Lamp Tavern. The good news is that it was recorded by Chris Trent and no doubt will appear on FMR Records in the near future.
As mentioned in my previous piece about Paul Dunmall, Paul will be touring in November with a quintet that features Hamid Drake on drums, plus Percy Pursglove, Steve Tromans on piano and Dave Kane on bass. Paul will be writing the Soul Time Suite, a series of short pieces to set up the improvisations. See my previous piece below about Dunmall for details