Exposé Online banner

Paul Dunmall Octet — Bebop Starburst
(Cuneiform Rune 112, 1999, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-04-01

Bebop Starburst Cover art

If big band jazz is an acquired taste for any progressive music aficionado, then big band jazz with free jazz overtones is a likely a challenging ordeal. Even for the casual bebop jazz fan it’s “breaking the sacred rules” for that rigid genre and thus the focus of unfair and snide ridicule. The risk for the composer then is how to shape old-school elements and mold them within the constraints of modern jazz without restricting the styles or the artists by the very influences they represent. Paul Dunmall has been operating within the confines of a small improvising jazz unit (Mujician) for several years and expanded his scope to an eight-piece ensemble (the same as with his last album). As when any genres are combined, there should smooth transition between composition and improvisation, and that is where many of the tracks here succeed. The disc is divided into five separate sections, where “Part I” contains the introductory theme of the album. Pianist and one time King Crimson member (Lizard, Islands), Keith Tippett holds his ground admirably within the twenty minute “Part III.” Trumpet player, Gethin Liddington gets to stretch out on the last section of the piece before the entire ensemble kicks in for a healthy dose of chaos. The piece is later resolved by drifting into an upright bass outtro from Paul Rogers (not the Free / Bad Company singer). The next big piece, “Part IV,” is in part characterized by a somber, sometimes frantic piano backing of an Annie Whitehead trombone solo. Rhythmic accompaniment is steadily supplied by Tony Levin (not the Crimson member). Overall there is plenty of individual contribution to the “loose” bebop frame Dunmall has constructed. And it is a “starburst” accomplishment for this reason as well as several others. Highly recommended for fans of mid-60s Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, and Elton Dean.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Simon Picard, Keith Tippett, Paul Dunmall, Annie Whitehead

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bebop-starburst

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Agitation Free - Fragments – [Musique Intemporelle edition from 1995] Agitation Free are one of Germany's finest space rock groups, an outfit that launched the careers of many respected musicians like Michael Hoenig, Lutz...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues