One of the amazing things about being involved in improvised music is that in such a small and fluid scene it’s quite possible to end up friends and colleague with your heroes. I’m lucky enough to have quite a few of these relationships, but two of the most important to me are with Paul Dunmall and Jeff Williams. Anyone reading this should be familiar with both – Paul Dunmall is one of the most astonishing saxophonists this country has ever produced, and Jeff Williams, among the very greatest living jazz drummers, has spend half his time here now for over a decade.
Although they’re a similar age and have plenty of shared collaboraters, Dunmall and Williams have never played together. Williams is perhaps best known for his long history with great saxophonists – including Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Clifford Jordan, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman – and I knew that him and Dunmall would sound wonderful together. I was discussing this with my friend Percy Pursglove, an incredible trumpet player and bassist who also works regularly with both of them, and we agreed that we really had to make it happen. So we’ve booked a short quartet tour, starting with the ‘Ideas of Noise’ Festival in Stourbridge in the afternoon of February 2nd. We’ll then play Cafe Oto in London on Feb 4th, and end up in Bristol, at the Fringe, on Feb 5th.
We’ll be recording at least one of the gigs, so an album should be forthcoming – but in the meantime come and catch us live!