The first-ever performance of the quartet of most in-demand free-improvisers – British legendary tenor sax player Paul Dunmall, trumpeter Percy Pursglove, double bass player Olie Brice and American, London-based drummer Jeff Williams took place at the Ideas of Noise Festival in Stourbridge, on the very rare occasion of a palindrome date –February 2nd, 2020. The second performance of the quartet, captured live on «Palindromes», happened two days later and continued the theme with a palindrome as a venue – London’s Cafe OTO.
Dunmall and Pursglove (who also plays the double bass) have been playing together for more than fifteen years. Brice joined Dunmall’s circle of frequent collaborators only in recent years (and released «Palindromes» on his label), but Dunmall and Williams, known for his work with Stan Getz, Lee Konitz and Paul Bley, never played together before, despite being of the same generation and both playing significant roles in the post-Coltrane history of improvised music. Brice and Pursglove, who have worked before with Williams, initiated the tour of the new quartet.
The 60-minutes «Tattarrattat» is credited to the four musicians, and Brice confirms that it turned out to be even more joy than he and Pursglove had imagined. He is completely right. The quartet’s dynamics are organic and the playful give-and-take games between Dunmall and Pursglove and the rhythm section of Brice and Williams always offer a positive tension as well as generous room for individual solos. Dunmall and Pursglove complement and enrich each other’s melodic ideas, together and apart, while Brice and Williams, charge these ideas with sharp, driving and fast-shifting rhythmic patterns. There are brief, fiery and dramatic eruptions, but most of the time this quartet seeks to color its compelling conversational dynamics with subtle nuances, including with careful timbral searches and complex rhythmic layers, and doing so in its own elegant and natural flow of beautiful music.
Paul Dunmall (ts), Percy Pursglove (tp), Olie Brice (b), Jeff Williams (dr)