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

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Omnia Opera - Omnia Opera – From the first few power chords at the beginning of "Space Bastard" it becomes fairly obvious that this British six-piece have Hawkwind as one of their major influences, yet they seem to be capable of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues