Friday, October 04, 2013

Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Tony Bianco - Remembrance (NoBusiness Records, 2013)

Alto saxophonist Elton Dean was a powerful member of the British progressive music scene from free jazz through his work with Soft Machine and its offshoots. Recorded in London during 2004 this is a stellar collective session with Paul Dunmall on tenor saxophone, Tony Bianco on drums and Paul Rogers on bass. This double disc set is made up of four lengthy performances featuring different configurations of musicians. "Trio I" opens the album with the Dean/Rogers/Bianco unit, where Dean's alto weaves notes in calamitous fashion along with with brooding bowed bass and agile drumming. Rogers' dexterous bowed bass adds a dark texture to the music, and coupled with Bianco's unpredictable drumming they make for a formidable pair. Paul Dunmall's dusky and yearning tenor joins the fray on "Quartet" using his brawny stature to develop a muscular and lean approach. The music on this performance develops some very exciting interplay of horns with thick throbbing bass and powerfully rhythmic drumming providing even more energy. Alto and tenor saxophones mix and match with varying hues, creating music that is capable of ferocious power and intensity even thought there is little or no pre-composed material. The horns are stripped out on "Duo" leaving Rogers and Bianco to develop a bass and drums conversation that is very impressive in variety and elasticity of movement. Things come full circle with the concluding "Trio II" developing an amalgamation of the discipline and refinement that builds to a thrilling collective finale. Remembrance - NoBusiness Records.

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