Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
544

Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco and Dave Kane at the Vortex, London, UK

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco and Dave Kane
The Vortex
London, England
January 19, 2010



The band was smoking, they were burning, they were on fire. Just some of the expressions used to denote a truly affecting jazz experience, but not to be taken literally. So imagine the concern of the patrons in north London's Vortex jazz venue as smoke was spotted curling up from the amplifier of bassist Dave Kane not long into the first set. Not surprisingly the first signs were an acrid smell that some attributed to the candles, and the sudden inaudibility of the bass, immediately apparent to Kane though quite hard for the audience to detect behind the onslaught of drummer Tony Bianco's percussive whirlwind.

Both were here as part of a trio completed by saxophone master Paul Dunmall. Once the saxophonist became aware of Kane's predicament he was able to get the message across to Bianco. Musicians often retreat to a different realm of consciousness when in full spate, and this was certainly the case with Bianco who, with eyes closed and limbs mesmerically flailing, seemed oblivious to perceived danger. Once Dunmall's proximity had registered and the saxophonist was able to convey the problem, Bianco quickly drew the piece to a close, but still with enough presence of mind to mirror his opening gambit of playing with a shaker in one hand and his two sticks in the other, for a snapshot of how structure can be imputed to totally improvised settings. Happily another amp was soon found, and after a brief hiatus the trio was able to resume.





This pairing of American expat Bianco with the British reedman was a repeat of an appearance at the Vortex almost a year previous. On that occasion they performed as a duo, following the double booking of bassist John Edwards, so successfully it was difficult to see where a bassist might have fitted in. Tonight they did have a bassist, notwithstanding the burnt-out amp, in the upcoming talent of Leeds-based northern Irishman Dave Kane. Kane's reputation is growing, based on his partnership with pianist Matthew Bourne and drummer Steve Davis, who together with Dunmall released the excellent Moment To Moment (Slam, 2009), and his helming of the Leeds Improvised Music Association.

Bianco and Dunmall share a history going back some fourteen years since the New York-born drummer relocated from Berlin to London. In that time they have collaborated on numerous occasions, including the acclaimed Utoma Trio (Emanem, 1999), with the most recent being the blistering Spirits Past And Future (DLE, 2008) on the reedman's own imprint.

Typically for Dunmall this was a totally improvised outing without any prior discussion of destination, played out over two sets weighing in at almost 90 minutes. Much of the interest lay in the strategies adopted for working with Bianco's non-stop drumming style, which was the defining characteristic of the evening. Bianco has evinced an interest in deriving drone tones from his drums, which he achieved through fusillades of rhythms spinning around a still center, such that he paradoxically imparted forward motion yet remained in the same place, the aural equivalent of a runner on a treadmill.



  • 1
  • 2

  • Related Video

    Shop

    CD/LP/Track Review
    Take Five With...
    Live Reviews
    CD/LP/Track Review
    Live Reviews
    Read more articles
    Luddite
    Luddite
    New Atlantis Records
    2014
    buy
    [no cover]
    Descent III
    Soul Note
    2013
    buy
    [no cover]
    Dunmall-Park-Sanders...
    Soul Note
    2013
    buy
    [no cover]
    Weeping Idols
    Soul Note
    2013
    buy
    [no cover]
    New Atmospheres
    Soul Note
    2013
    buy
    [no cover]
    Tribute To Coltrane
    Soul Note
    2013
    buy
    Evan Parker Evan Parker
    sax, tenor
    Joe McPhee Joe McPhee
    reeds
    Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
    saxophone
    Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
    bass, acoustic
    David S. Ware David S. Ware
    sax, tenor
    Julius Hemphill Julius Hemphill
    sax, alto
    Tony Malaby Tony Malaby
    sax, tenor
    Booker Ervin Booker Ervin
    sax, tenor
    Michael Blake Michael Blake
    saxophone
    Myron Walden Myron Walden
    saxophone
    Steve Lehman Steve Lehman
    sax, alto
    World Saxophone Quartet World Saxophone Quartet
    band/orchestra

    Post a comment

    comments powered by Disqus

    Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

    Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.