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TRIBUTE TO COLTRANE

Artist: Paul Dunmall

Date of Release: 05/07/2013

Catalogue no: SLAMCD292

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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Paul Dunmall tenor, soprano saxophones; Tony Bianco drums.

Compositions by John Coltrane:
OGUNDE, OFFERING, WISE ONE, VIGIL, BRAZILIA, REVEREND KING, SUN SHIP, ASCENT, THE DRUM THING.

In November 2011 Dunmall and Bianco recorded a session later made available on CD as “Thank You To John Coltrane”, released on SLAM (SLAMCD 290). A year later the same duo returned to the same venue to delve deeper into the Coltrane repertoire, resulting in this second SLAM CD.

Always a difficult act to follow a CD as successful as “Thank You To John Coltrane” but I believe the two sets must be taken together as an expression of Dunmall’s lifelong love and appreciation of the music and spirit of Coltrane.

 

Reviews

 

23/12/2013 Jeff Stockton

Pegging John Coltrane’s duets with Rashied Ali on
1967’s Interstellar Space as the beginning of saxophone/
drum improvisational recordings, this instrumental
pairing has enjoyed continuous popularity over the
years: Ali and Frank Lowe; Jimmy Lyons and Andrew
Cyrille; Peter Brötzmann and Han Bennink; David
Murray and Milford Graves, to name but a few. Usually
one of the performers takes the lead, by virtue of the
fact that one is better known, or his personality tends
to be complemented by the other. Three recent CDs,
however, don’t quite conform to this rule of thumb.
Tribute to Coltrane is a follow-up to last year’s
Thank You to John Coltrane, recorded by tenor
saxophonist Paul Dunmall and drummer Tony Bianco.
In this case, it’s the compositions that are the star, with
the tandem exploring even later-period Trane than on
the first outing. The result is some of Dunmall’s
strongest blowing to date (supported by Bianco’s
nonstop travels around his kit) on what amounts to a
fantastic Coltrane sampler. In its original form,
“Ogunde” was relatively brief, but here it unfurls to
double its length with Dunmall meeting and extending
the tune’s spiritual arc. Likewise for the one-two punch
of “Sun Ship” and “Ascent”, where Dunmall’s
authoritative playing and Bianco’s maniacal drumming
pull off the niftiest trick of all: they make an original
statement all their own. Jeff Stockton
THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD JAN 2014

 

01/10/2013 Nigel Jarrett

Coltrane is perhaps best known for his 60s quartet but the maelstroms whipped up in those groups of renown were horn ‘n’ drum things, despite the chimings of the piano and the running bass. Dunmall and Bianco face their challenges head-on and impressively, though listeners unconvinced by the reduction may feel that the expression “economy of means” should be interpreted in more than one way. The formula is pretty much the same on all tracks, each a Coltrane original. Dunmall improvises freely in a style often favoured by JC when open-ended modal extension encouraged it, and Bianco creates a variable percussive atmosphere in which the sax lines twirl around.

Frenzy can be tiresome when the faster tempi are maintained but we are spared Elvin Jones’ obligatory cymbal-splashing. Finally, on The Drum Thing, BIanco’s kit grabs the attention but only as the provider of an even more accommodating surround for Dunmall at his more self-communing. Economy has spread to the album’s presentation as there’s no information on how the project came about or what the two musicians thing of the Coltrane legacy. Dunmall, however, says the music represents his best tenor-playing. He should know.
Nigel Jarrett Jazz Journal, October 2013

 

01/08/2013 Daniel Spicer

Most tenor saxophonists will admit that Coltrane is an influence, but Paul Dunmall can claim a more direct connection than many, having played with Alice Coltrane while living in the Divine Light Mission ashram in California in the early 70s. Here, he teams up once again with drummer Tony Bianco for their second tribute CD revisiting Trane compositions. Dunmall clearly demonstrates that he has imbibed deeply at the source, letting rip with a bold, yearning tone of spiritual sincerity and rightly interpreting the fanfare-like heads of Coltrane’s later pieces as declarations of emotional truth. Bianco lays down a relentless blur of crisp, lightning-fast snare rolls and swelling toms that bespeak heart-bursting, oceanic love – an idiosyncratic style that, on the ride-heavy reading of “Vigil”, reveals itself to be a highly stylised development of Elvin Jones’s polyrhythmic innovations. How else to end this offering than with the infinity perfection of a deep tambura drone?
Daniel Spicer The Wire, August 2013

 

24/07/2013 Nick Lea

Almost exactly twelve months after recording Thank You To John
Coltrane (See May's CD Reviews), Dunmall and Bianco return to the same studio to record this follow up. Again focussing on some of Coltrane's later pieces the duo explore the music with vigour and reverence, and at the same time manage to imbue the music with their own personalities. In doing so they are not only paying homage to one of jazz's greatest improvisers but also keep the music fresh and valid for a new generation of listeners.

In Paul's opinion the music has moved on since Thank You in the time between the recordings, and states on the cover notes to the album that "I think that this Coltrane tribute CD is the best tenor playing I've done...I may have played in a more musical vein here and there but as just straight blowing the tenor, this is it." A sweeping statement for a man whose career has spanned more than thirty years, and covered a wide range of musical activities, but listening to the music contained in this latest chapter in the vast Dunmall discography one that is very difficult to disagree with.

From the outset, the difference in the two albums is discernible. The recorded sound seems somewhat quieter, and even at its most vigorous the music is never overpowering. Dunmall's tenor retains in full and round sound in the lower register, and has an evenness throughout the range of the horn, but it is the clarity of the drums that impress. Bianco's contribution is beautifully captured, displaying the subtleties of timbre and dynamics that are so essential
is music of such an intimate nature.

Throughout the nine Coltrane compositions covered here, the duo produce a balanced programme that retains the listeners interest. With some of the pieces running over the ten minute mark, the pair always seem aware of where they wish to take the music, even when at it most free, and there is never a dull moment on the album. Not one to strive for effect for the sake of it, the saxophonist mostly plays within the natural range of the instrument and the use of multiphonics is sparing. The net result of this, is that saxophone and drums communicate freely and joyously, and in this well paced set the tempo and mood is varied with the more insistent 'Offering' and 'Vigil' counterbalanced with superlative readings of 'Wise One' and 'Reverend King'; and the superb 'The Drum Thing'.

The only problem perhaps, is which of these two excellent albums to buy first? In my opinion, they should be purchased as a pair, and listened to as companion discs, and the discographers may wish to hear them in their chronological sequence, but if pushed to choose I may just side with Dunmall and plump for this one first.

Reviewed by Nick Lea http://jazzviewscdreviews.weebly.com/

 

01/07/2013 Vittorio Lo Conte

The idea of doing a tribute to the music of John Coltrane is hardly new. His compositions are now played by the standards of the mainstream musicians and schools of jazz, but it is certain that for a musician who has practically re-established his instrument and the history of jazz would be simplistic to relegate only brilliant in the role of performer or composer innovative because ntrambi aspects are constantly present in his engravings. Some albums dedicated to him are to be remembered for their originality with respect to that world, Pat Metheny and Kenny Garrett, for example, or the Latin version of trombonist Conrad Herwig. The Englishman Paul Dunmall and drummer American, but living in London Tony Bianco have already recorded a live dedicated to Coltrane, a work in which it appears not only dedication to the music and that kind of expression, but also a sincerity that executive is not always given listen. An overwhelming passion that led to the second chapter of this duo. And still live in the same room. Dunmall is more melodic than the first disc, and is always the great saxophonist we know. And the same goes for Bianco, who plays as great for the role. Coltrane's repertoire is passionate, with both compositions with such an intense manner to approach them. Together Dunmall and Bianco duo are one of the most interesting of the current jazz scene, not two musicians who are face to face, but two interpreters on the same wavelength un'interplay and who have acquired a sound that makes them immediately recognizable precisely because they sound together. Vittorio Lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=14377 29 June 2013

ORIGINAL ITALIAN
L´idea di fare un tributo alla musica di John Coltrane non è certo nuova. Le sue composizioni sono ormai degli standards suonati dai musicisti mainstream e nelle scuole di jazz, ma è certo che per un musicista che ha praticamente rifondato il suo strumento e la storia del jazz sarebbe riduttivo relegarlo soltanto nel ruolo di geniale esecutore o di innovativo compositore perchè ntrambi gli aspetti sono costantemente presenti nelle sue incisioni. Alcuni album a lui dedicati sono da ricordare per la loro originalità rispetto a quel mondo, Pat Metheny e Kenny Garrett, ad esempio, oppure la versione latina del trombonista Conrad Herwig. L´inglese Paul Dunmall ed il batterista americano, ma residente a Londra Tony Bianco hanno già inciso un live dedicato a Coltrane, un lavoro in cui appare non solo la dedizione a quella musica ed a quel tipo di espressione, ma soprattutto una sincerità esecutiva che non sempre è dato ascoltare. Una passione incontenibile che ha portato al secondo capitolo di questo duo. Ancora dal vivo e nello stesso locale. Dunmall è più melodico rispetto al primo disco ed è sempre il grande sassofonista che conosciamo. E lo stesso vale per Bianco, che grande per come interpreta il suo ruolo. Il repertorio di Coltrane viene sviscerato, sia con le composizioni che con il modo così intenso di approcciarle. Insieme Dunmall e Bianco sono uno dei duo piú interessanti della scena jazz attuale, non due musicisti che stanno faccia a faccia, ma due interpreti sulla stessa lunghezza d´onda che hanno acquisito un´interplay ed un suono che li rende subito riconoscibili proprio perchè suonano insieme.
Vittorio Lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=14377 29 June 2013

 

17/06/2013 Francois Couture

PAUL DUNMALL & TONY BIANCO / Tribute to Coltrane (Slam Productions)
Paul Dunmall est capable, parfaitement capable, de ressusciter John Coltrane avec son saxo ténor. Et Tony Bianco est un batteur frénétique mais attentif comme l’était Rashied Ali. Tribute to Coltrane est leur second disque hommage à John Coltrane. Des versions très personnelles mais fort reconnaissables des compositions de Coltrane (post-A Love Supreme). Un disque complément au premier.
Paul Dunmall is perfectly capable of channeling John Coltrane through his tenor sax. And Tony Bianco is just as frantic and attentive a drummer as Rashied Ali was. Tribute to Coltrane is their second Coltrane tribute CD. Highly personal (and highly recognizable) versions of Coltrane’s post-A Love Supreme compositions. Both discs go hand in hand, no need to ask yourself which one to pick – take a chance or pick them both.
Francois Couture http://blog.monsieurdelire.com/2013/06/2013-06-05-pedra-preta-dunmallbianco.html

 

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