Exposé Online banner

Elton Dean / Paul Dunmall — If Dubois Only Knew
(Blueprint BP194CD, 1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

If Dubois Only Knew Cover art

Two seasoned British sax players: just them, no keyboard, guitar, bass, or drums for accompaniment. Uh-oh! Eight songs of duets and free jazz performance? God, I need some Tylenol, just thinking about playing this disc, 'cos I'm going to have such a migraine after wading through an entire hour of this brash mess! In the disc insert we have one big picture of two old guys blowing their proverbial hearts out. For an album that was recorded at somebody's home three years ago and then released by a good indie UK label (Voiceprint), it should be something really special, right? Without any constant meter to fall back on, your typical jazz crowd classifies this performance as 'difficult but disciplined' and well... it is. But the focal point through it all is a simple raw improvisation. Two competent players trading licks, melodies and random ideas in real time with no frills. The complementary pieces, “Wide Asleep” and “Deep Awake,” may be a slight commentary on either the home engineer's or musician's dispositions after hearing playback of the master tape. The most listenable duet is “That's Your Plot” where Dean takes a back seat role as Dunmall solos quietly over a pulsing ostinato that quickly changes into parallel sixteenth note waves of yakkety sound. You may even wonder how musicians can make a living by playing this kind of seemingly disorganized chaos. Well, it's a love or hate situation... no inbetweens here. I was hoping there would be at least a couple of good ballads to offset some of the banter, but alas they were not to be heard on this occasion. But wait... who the hell is Dubois? If he only knew about this disc, he may run over to the nearest bridge and... For free jazz purists only.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - Homebrew – This new CD is a collection of guitar pieces and song writing ventures by the noted Yes guitarist which covers a span of over twenty years work from several solo and band projects. Almost completely...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues