Home » Jazz Musicians » Paul Dunmall

Paul Dunmall

After turning professional at seventeen and touring Europe for one year with progressive rock group Marsupilami he moved to America and lived there for three years playing with many musicians including Alice Coltrane and toured with Johnny Guitar Watson for one year.

On his return to the UK he worked with folk musicians Polly Bolton/Kevin Dempsey and groupings worked around the Dando Shaft band. In 1979 he became a founder member of the jazz group Spirit Level with pianist Tim Richards plus playing free improvised music with the Nigel Morris trio. At this time also Paul played in the London Improvised music scene.

In 1985 the group Tenor Tonic was formed with Alan Skidmore, Tony Levin and Paul Rogers. In 1987 Paul joined the London Jazz Composers Orchestra lead by Barry Guy and joined Danny Thompson's Folk/Jazz hybrid Whatever. The following year the outstanding collective quartet Mujician was formed with Keith Tippett, Tony Levin, Paul Rogers.

Whilst playing in these groups Paul was also still playing in many ad hoc groups plus playing in several of Elton Deans ensembles. Since 2000 Paul is still freelancing and has been playing in the composer's Brian Irvine's 14 piece band.

In 2003 Brian was commissioned by the BBC to write a full orchestral piece with freely improvised saxophone, a long time dream of Paul's. In 2000 Paul set up his own improvised music record label with Philip Gibbs called Duns Limited Edition. It brought musicians together to improvise from many different traditions such as classical/folk/ethnic and to date has 52 releases.


"...eclectic, capable on several instruments and full of wonder for the improvised form" - Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz

"One of the most accomplished reedists on the planet" - Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly

"Paul Dunmall is a monster sax player" - Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

"...a musician who can wail convincingly without abandoning his intellect" - All Music Guide

"Whether in a trio with Mujician's rhythm section or with the larger band of sympathetic fellow improvisers, Dunmall consistently produces powerful and passionate music" - BBC Music Magazine (June 1994)

"...robust and heavy-hitting performer who has gone on to concentrate largely on free improvisation without sacrificing a rigorous melodic logic, a sparing lyricism and the technique to drop in on bebop occasionally." - John Fordham, The Guardian


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

That's My Life

577 Records


The Laughing Stone

Confront Recordings


Yes Tomorrow

Discus Music



West Hill



577 Records




Joe McPhee
Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
David S. Ware
saxophone, tenor
Julius Hemphill
saxophone, alto
Tony Malaby
saxophone, tenor
Booker Ervin
saxophone, tenor
Michael Blake
saxophone, tenor
Steve Lehman
saxophone, alto
Dewey Redman
saxophone, tenor
Hamiet Bluiett
saxophone, baritone
Sonny Simmons
saxophone, alto
Odean Pope

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.