Barker / Dunmall / Dahl: Luddite

Glenn Astarita By

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This is the second album emanating from celebrated British saxophonist, Paul Dunmall's 2012 visit to New York City, performing at the Vision Festival, and follows his initial 2013 appearance for New Atlantis Records on a date led by guitarist Edward Ricart, titled Chameleon. Hence, top New York City-based improvisers, drummer Andrew Barker and bassist Tim Dahl—the latter appearing on three tracks, lend their faculties for a set that poses a myriad of irregular rhythmic explorations. And while Dunmall's explosive tenor sax lines emphasize the group's power-packed tactics, the musicians' remain agile amid a host of changeable motifs, including areas where gruff, microtonal idiosyncrasies alter the flows and perspectives.

Whether Dunmall and Barker are going toe-to-toe or when Dahl is present, the band covers just about every conceivable angle imaginable as an improvising unit, sans any filler material. Barker is a proverbial force of nature with his polyrhythmic assaults and snappy cymbals hits. With an aggregation of fractured storylines, they pursue oscillating medium tempo romps while often breaking into a whirlwind inferno.

On "No Pity Party," Dunmall's energized and flirtatious upper register phrasings launch a deeply conversational sequence of twisting notions and fierce interactions among the rhythm section. Dahl's deep bass and Barker's tumultuous drumming envelops the saxophonist's soaring trajectory. Yet on "Spells," Dahl's cyclical arco lines are expanded by Dunmall, as the duo creates a vortex of expansive improvisational opuses. However the final piece "Flecks," commences with a gravelly and rather low-key platform; although, the saxophonist opens it up via recoiling notes darting across the studio, spawning a jagged loop of sorts. It's high-intensity improvisation as the musicians were most assuredly up for the occasion, correlating their robust imaginations and heightened sense of the dynamic into ardently executed outcomes.

Track Listing: Shame Game; Luddite; Champion; No Pity Party; Spells; Flecks.

Personnel: Andrew Barker: drums; Paul Dunmall: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Tim Dahl: bass (1, 3, 5).

Title: Luddite | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: New Atlantis Records


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