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Paul Dunmall & Tony Bianco: I You

John Eyles By

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Paul Dunmall seems hell-bent on generating as large a discography as possible. His own imprint, DUNS, is releasing a prodigious number of albums. At the current rate, Dunmall will rival the notoriously large discographies of Braxton, Lacy, Evan Parker and David Murray. (Is this a saxophonist thing?) However, quantity is not being achieved at the expense of quality; Dunmall's name on an album is rapidly becoming a recommendation in itself. Dunmall and Bianco were last featured together as two-thirds of the Utoma Trio (with Simon Picard). Dunmall has talked in the past about the addition or substitution of one musician altering the whole dynamic of a grouping. This is again evident here; the removal of Picard from the Utoma Trio puts all of the focus on Dunmall's sax, and his playing expands to fill the space available.

The intensity and relentless energy of the Utoma Trio album (Emanem 4040) drew comparisons with the likes of John Coltrane and Rashied Ali's Interstellar Space. That comparison is even more valid here (not least because sax and drums duos are uncommon, so there are few benchmarks). The music here is freely improvised—apart from prior agreements such as they would play the second piece slower than the first because Bianco was tired!—and is eloquent testimony to Dunmall's creativity; he is able to play coherent melodic lines even when the music is pouring out of him in a torrent (yes, definitely reminiscent of Trane). And Bianco is equal to the challenge of partnering him, displaying prodigious energy and sensitivity, in a virtuoso performance.

Track Listing: Eternal Dance; Bhanuh; Broken Treaty; Serpent

Personnel: Paul Dunmall, saxophones; Tony Bianco, drums

Title: I You | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: FMR Records


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