The Squid's Ear Magazine


Dunmall / Brackenbury / Brice / Bianco: Prema (FMR)

Part of a series at Birmingham, UK's East Jazz Club by saxophonist Paul Dunmall with some of the UK's finest improvisers, here in a quartet of two string players—Olie Brice on bass and Faith Brackenbury on violin—plus long-time collaborator Tony Bianco on drums, the title Prema referring to divine love or higher love, as heard in this tremendous, extended performances.
 

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Personnel:



Olie Brice-double bass

Tony Bianco-drums

Paul Dunmall-tenor saxophone

Faith Brackenbury-violin


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Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMR681
Squidco Product Code: 34277

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Eastside Jazz ClubBirmigham [sic] Conservatoire, UK, on March 2nd, 2023, by Harvey Graham.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Part of a series at Birmingham, UK's East Jazz Club by saxophonist Paul Dunmall with some of the UK's finest improvisers, here in a quartet of two string players—Olie Brice on bass and Faith Brackenbury on violin—plus long-time collaborator Tony Bianco on drums, the title Prema referring to divine love or higher love, as heard in this tremendous, extended performances.


Artist Biographies

"I'm a jazz and improv double bassist, based in Hastings, SE England.

I lead and compose for The Olie Brice Quintet, which released our debut album 'Immune to Clockwork' in 2014. The quintet was named as one of the 'new bands 2014' in the El Intruso Critics Poll, and was described by Richard Williams as "one of the most interesting and satisfying bands on the current UK scene". The current line-up of the quintet features George Crowley on tenor, Alex Bonney on cornet, Mike Fletcher on C-melody sax and Jeff Williams on drums. Our 2nd album, 'Day After Day' will be released in Jue 2017 on the Babel label.

I'm also involved in several collaborative projects, including;

a Trio with Tobias Delius - tenor sax, clarinet and Mark Sanders - drums

duos with Achim Kaufmann - piano, Rachel Musson - tenor sax and Tom Challenger - tenor sax

BABs (James Allsopp - bass clarinet, Alex Bonney - laptop)

and am in a few people's bands, including:

Mike Fletcher Trio (Mike Fletcher - C melody sax, Jeff Williams - drums)

Dee Byrne's Entopri (Dee Byrne - alto sax, Andre Canniere - trumpet, Rebecca Nash - piano & Matt Fisher - drums)

Alex Ward Quintet (Alex Ward - clarinet, guitar, Rachel Musson - tenor sax, Tom Jackson - bass clarinet, Hannah Marshall - cello)

Loz Speyer's Inner Space Music (Loz Speyer - trumpet, Chris Biscoe - alto sax, alto clarinet, Rachel Musson - tenor & soprano, Gary Willcox - drums)

Alex Bonney Quartet (Alex Bonney - trumpet, James Allsopp - reeds, Jeff Williams - drums)

Other musicians I've appeared with include Tony Malaby, Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall, Ingrid Laubrock, Ken Vandermark, Steve Swell and many others..."

-Olie Brice Website (https://oliebrice.com/about/)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"The unlimited vistas of music show us our own limitless perceptions of our being. My hopes of music are my hopes for art and humanity. I was born in New York City, the son of a drummer and the grandson of a guitar player. I always saw music as a work of heroes. My father saw music more as a vocation than an occupation. I was lucky. Growing up in New York City I could experience the greatest sounds in jazz. Seeing these greats play was a blessing. I remember seeing Elvin, Mingus, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Miles, Liebman, Tony Williams, Dexter Gordon, Ron Carter. What an experience. This intensified my love for this music. I always thought that there was a point to it all. A reason. I took chances in my life because of this. I was always single-minded. I had a hard time compromising. I knew being a musician was a career, but I was never business minded. I just floated. Of course, my father was always anxious for me. He wanted me to play some kind of jazz he understood, but I just played what I heard at the time. I felt jazz was a very contemporary sound, not just a sound that was based on the past although I have great respect for the past. I think these perceptions come naturally from the time we live in. Progress. What is sound? What is perception? I never felt I was good enough. A father who loved the greats can be very intimidating. I was always searching for some perception that was my own. There was a time I thought 'forget music - it's impossible. You'll never have your own attitude'. Then I heard John Coltrane. He made me feel it was possible. Praise and Thanks.

Of course growing up in New York I thought these sublime thoughts but I had to make a living. I thought of myself as a drummer. I did what I thought a drummer should do. I became, of course, less idealistic and did all kinds of work - any work that would come my way. This included all genres. I thought of myself as a jazz musician but I seemed to be playing everything else except jazz. I got a steady gig in New York City in a warm-up band in a famous comedy club - Catch a Rising Star. It's a legendary comic club that a lot of the great comedians came through (Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Richard Belzer). It was actually a great experience - kind of like a talkshow band (Jay Leno, David Letterman). It was a steady gig and it was real easy, and of course I could just float. The bass player on the gig was Lloyd Mair. He was a devotee of avant garde music and jazz. He knew some really interesting things about jazz. I learned a lot from him. Lloyd was great. Of course being at this club I played in some pretty interesting situations - Edgar Winter, Pat Benatar. I even played drums behind Andy Kaufman doing his Elvis routine. This club had more of a vibe than anything else. Anyway, it was a steady gig (five years). In that time I explored my own ideas and met a lot of musicians. One became a close friend - a tenor player Mac Goldsberry. He introduced me to a lot of the New York City players even though he was from Texas. Through him I played and recorded with Ed Schuller, Herb Robertson and Charlie Elgart (a commercial FM sounding jazz). I started to write music at that time. I made a recording with John Hart on guitar. At the same time I hooked up with (through Goldsberry) the singer, writer, jazz musician and poet Bob Lennox and his son Adam. Through Adam I first met Liebman. We did a record and gig doing this progressive rock thing. At this time also I also did a recording with Anthony Jackson, the legendary electric bass player. I also started to play more free jazz at this time. But things in New York for me weren't really going well. I broke up with my first wife and was feeling kind of dark. I was really going through a lot. There was a lot more going on than I could write about. You dig? I met some musicians from the University of Miami (Mike Gillis, legendary guitar player and great guy) and went to Japan for a few months with them. On coming back to the U.S. one of the teachers from the University said why don't you come to Miami - maybe we could hook you up with a teaching gig there. Then I thought, well okay, what else is there to do. I went to the International Jazz Educators Seminar at the University to check it out - see if I could get a gig. Anyway, at one of the parties that night I met Liebman, and he said to me 'What are you doing here?' I said maybe I can get a gig teaching here. Then he said forget that - go to Berlin where some of your mates went to live and play jazz (Lennox, Goldsberry). Liebman said that I needed to get out of NYC to see myself. He said if you were born there you needed to get out to feel yourself - New York is such an intense city (that was 1990). Anyway, I decided to got to Berlin - I had some money from that gig in Japan and borrowed some money from my Japanese girlfriend (Naomi) and sold my grandfather's vintage guitar (I got ripped off) and went off to Berlin.

I moved to Berlin in 1991. It was great. The Berlin Wall had recently come down and there was a good feeling in the air. I started to do more of the music I wanted to do (jazz). This city had a very free feeling. I started to work with Alex von Schlippenbach and his wife Aki Takase, and Gerd Dudek. I had an opportunity to hang and play with Reggie Workman on a Schlippenbach gig and was very honoured that he seemed to like me. I was learning more about the European free improv scene. At the same time I worked with the late legendary bass player Jay Oliver who influenced me in some rhythmic concepts and attitude. I was also privileged to work with the late gypsey guitarist Costa Lucas. My rhythmic concepts really took a turn when I worked with Hans Hartman (bass and stick player) and Turkish percussionist Mesut Ali - these guys could really play in different time signatures. At this time I was really understanding a different sort of sound.

I lived in Berlin until 1995. I felt a longing for some familiarity at this point (the English language). I returned to New York for a few months, then joined my wife (who I met in Berlin) in London. We had enough money for one month's rent and a phone. I had to borrow my first drum set, but somehow met some of the guys. I met Loz Speyer (great guy) who got me a drum set and he introduced me to a lot of the straighter players. I also met Alex McGuire who introduced me to Elton Dean, from where I met the rest of the free scene. I met Paul Dunmall and we played and recorded some great music together. I also made some great music and recordings with Elton. I started to complete some of the ideas I came up with in Berlin. I came up with a project called Freebeat with Elton Dean and sound engineer, Jon Wilkinson. It was a concept of playing through time signatures but playing also free through it. It never materialised as a label-released record but it inspired a lot of ideas. These ideas interested Dave Liebman. I recorded a similar but different project with him in Berlin (2003). These ideas and projects were never released either but I am working on it.

The CD 'In a Western Sense' handles some of these same concepts. I think that time signatures are a way of defining phrasing. My music really doesn't watch the time signature as much as the phrasing. Through beats (a drum thing) you can keep a pulse but have no number on the pulse. It's not in 1-1. That's impossible, since the phrasing has to be in one and it's not. It is actually many different time signatures but one pulse. I could explain this in more detail but not on a website bio. Anyway, this concept influenced practically all my musical ideas. Time and no time were brought together. Liebman told me I came into the world to do this. Who knows. The thing is that my improvised and free music seems to have this pulse in it. It is done quite unconsciously on some level (I think it was to do with my studies or working out these concepts) and on another level quite deliberate. I do have a method. Sometimes great complexity is held together by great simplicity. Anyway, I moved to London in 1996 - it's been good and bad - what hasn't? It's been a hard place for me to meet people but I did get some records out. I played and recorded with Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean, Simon Picard, Paul Rutherford, Keith Tippett, Paul Rogers, Marcio Matthos and John Edwards. Some great music was played.

I was also very fortunate to meet the band that played 'In a Western Sense' - Zoe Rahman, Carlos Lopez-Real and Oli Hayhurst. I have (probably because I am an American) the need to combine the sounds of straight and free jazz. It is part of my instinct. Like many other musicians at this time. It seems to be what is happening. Reason and chaos, chaos and reason. Maybe it resolves in peace."-Tony Bianco

-Tony Bianco Website (http://www.tonybianco.f9.co.uk/biog.htm)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Paul Dunmall was born 1953, Welling, Kent; saxophones, clarinets, bagpipes, miscellaneous wind instruments.

As told to Watson (1989), Paul Dunmall was a working class lad from Welling who left school at 15 and spent two years repairing instruments at Bill Lewington's shop in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. He turned professional at 17 and, following two years touring Europe with a progressive rock band (Marsupilami), joined the Divine Light Mission, a spiritual movement led by Guru Maharaj Ji and moved from London to an ashram in America. He told Isham (1997), 'I moved to an ashram full of musicians - a music ashram - but it was still spiritual practice. That gave me a spiritual understanding through meditation, Coltrane's music, and all the rest of it, led me to that, and that's been a fundament in my life ever since - that I can actually sit down and meditate and forget my body. I realise how important meditation is in my life... but I don't do it so much these days.' During the three years he lived in America, Dunmall played with Alice Coltrane (in a big band with the Divine Light Mission) and toured for twelve months with Johnny 'Guitar' Watson.

Back in England, he played with Danny Thompson and John Stevens as well as folk musicians Kevin Dempsey, Martin Jenkins and Polly Bolton and then, in 1979 he became a founder member of Spirit Level (Tim Richards, piano; Paul Anstey, bass; Tony Orrell, drums), staying with the group until 1989. During his time with Spirit Level, Dunmall joined the two-tenor front line group Tenor Tonic with Alan Skidmore (1985), played and broadcast with Dave Alexander and Tony Moore in the DAM trio (1986) and formed the Paul Dunmall Quartet with Alex Maguire, Tony Moore and Steve Noble (1986).

In 1987 Paul Dunmall joined the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, being a constant member and appearing on all their recorded output from that date onward. The following year the improvising collective quartet Mujician was formed by Keith Tippett, Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Tony Levin and has continued to be a regular performing, touring and recording group, sometimes augmented by other musicians. Dunmall has also played in a trio with Keith and Julie Tippetts and in Keith Tippett's big band Tapestry. Two other duos have also sprung out of Mujician: Dunmall with Tony Levin (two CD releases) and Dunmall in folk-influenced outings with Paul Rogers. Another regular playing partner throughout this period and up until the present includes Elton Dean.

In 1995, two trios were formed, the first with Oren Marshall, tuba and Steve Noble, percussion, the second with John Adams, guitar and Mark Sanders, percussion, these sometimes coming together as a quintet. More recently, Dunmall has played in another reeds/guitar/drums trio with Philip Gibbs and Tony Marsh and there appears to be regular crossover between all these players. The Paul Dunmall Octet was founded in 1997."

Dunmall also has released a large number of albums and a box set on the UK FMR label, in various configurations and instrumentation.

-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mdunmall.html)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Brackenbury studied violin and piano classically at music school, diversifying into jazz, folk, rock and improvisation at Brunel University. Whilst there she played in the Irish folk band Slainte and with Hot Club bands. Going on to study violin making at Merton College and with luthier John Langstaffe she made the violin she now plays on. She completed a Pg dip in Jazz Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2014 then played and sang with alto sax player Martin Speake in his band Mafarowi, with guitarist Rob Luft and drummer Will Glaser. The two recorded an improvised album 'Zephyr' in 2016. Her 'KnifeAngel Suite' sextet ep was released in 2019, in response to the Knife Angel sculpture by Alfie Bradley, and the rising rate of knife crime in the UK ."

-Faith Brackenbury Website (https://www.faithbrackenbury.com/about)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Prema 37:18

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quartet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
FMR.


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