Paul Dunmall


Photograph copyright Anita Cochrane

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.

In 2000, Paul Dunmall started the CD-R-only DUNS Limited edition label featuring many of his regular playing companions; he also produced a testing book of 31 studies for saxophone.

Further information

Watson, Philip (1989), Level crossings, The Wire, no. 64, (June), pp. 16-18. Based around the breaking-up of the group Spirit Level after 10 years, includes some information about Dunmall's introduction to the music and his influences.

Isham, Andy (1997), Emphasising with the spiritual. Avant, no. 2, (Summer), pp. 32-33.


1976, Ain't that a bitch, DJM. Johnny 'Guitar' Watson.
1982, Mice in the wallet, Spotlite. Spirit Level.
1984, Proud owners, Spotlite. Spirit Level.
1986, Killer bunnies, Spotlite. Spirit Level.
1986, Soliloquy, Matchless MR 15.
1987, Live in Viersen, Rare Music 033. Tony Levin Quartet.
1989, Swiss Radio tapes, RISR. Spirit Level.
1979-1999, Great spirit: best of Spirit Level, 33JAZZ051. Spirit Level.
1987, A, Antilles. Andy Shepherd.
1989, Whatever next, Antilles. Danny Thompson.
1987/88, Two's and three's, Voiceprint VP167CD. Elton Dean.
1987/1988, Zurich concerts, Intakt 005. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1989, Harmos, Intakt CD013. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1989, Double trouble, Intakt CD019. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1989, Elton Dean's Unlimited Saxophone Company, Ogun OGCD 002.
1989/93, Folks, SLAMCD 212. Duo with Paul Rogers.
1990, Elemental, Antilles. Danny Thompson.
1990, The saxophone phenomenon, SLAMCD 401. Two tracks on compilation CD.
1990, The journey, Cuneiform RUNE 42. Mujician.
1991, Theoria, Intakt CD 024. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1991, Study II/Stringer, Intakt CD095. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1991, The Bristol concert, What Disc What7CD. Mujician/The Georgian Ensemble.
1991, Passed Normal volume 5, FOT PN5. One track with Elton Dean ensemble.
1992, Live in London, DUNS Limited edition 015. Paul Dunmall/Tim Wells/Dave Alexander.
1993, View across the bay, PBB. Polly Bolton.
1993, Portraits, Intakt CD 035. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1993, Quartet, Sextet and Trio, SLAMCD 207.
1993, Birmingham concert, Rare Music RM026. Parker/Dunmall/Guy/Levin.
1993/4, Spiritual empathy, Rare Music RM024. Duo with Tony Levin.
1994-96, Folks history, DUNS Limited edition DLE 063. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
1994, Poem about the hero, Cuneiform RUNE 62. Mujician.
1995, Shepherd wheel, ASC CD 1. The Fairclough Group.
1995, Early October, SLAMCD 216. British Saxophone Quartet.
1995, Birdman, Cuneiform RUNE 82. Mujician.
1995, Three pieces for orchestra, Intakt CD 045. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1995, Double trouble two, Intakt CD 053. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1995, Long meadow, DUNS Limited edition 011. Paul Dunmall/Andy Isham.
1995, Silent knowledge, Cuneiform RUNE 83. Elton Dean Quintet.
1995, If Dubois only knew, Blueprint BP194CD. Elton Dean/Paul Dunmall.
1996, Bladik, Cuneiform RUNE 92. Mujician + Roswell Rudd + Elton Dean.
1996, Essential expressions, Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1079. Duo with Tony Levin.
1996, Desire and liberation, SLAMCD 225. Paul Dunmall Octet.
1996, Extremely Quartet, Hat Art CD 6199. John Law.
1996, Ghostly thoughts, HatOLOGY 503. Paul Dunmall/John Adams/Mark Sanders.
1997, Colours fulfilled, Cuneiform RUNE 102. Mujician.
1997, Zap II, DUNS Limited edition 004. Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Steve Noble/Oren Marshall/John Adams.
1997, Bebop stardust, Cuneiform RUNE 112. Paul Dunmall Octet.
1997, Time of brightness, Rare Music RM027. Paul Rogers Quartet.
1997, Cocteau's ghost, DUNS Limited Edition DLE 034. Paul Dunmall/Tony Irving.
1997, Elton, DUNS Limited edition 051. Elton Dean/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Tony Levin.
1997, Industry, EMI. Richard Thompson.
1998, Live at Le Mans, Red Eye Music redeye008. Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra.
1998, Shooters Hill, FMRCD141-0104. Paul Dunmall Sextet.
1998, Totally fried up, SLAMCD 235. Paul Dunmall/John Adams/Mark Sanders.
1999, Solo bagpipes, DUNS Limited edition 001.
1999, Utoma Trio, Emanem 4040. Tony Bianco/Paul Dunmall/Simon Picard.
1999, Live at 'The Subtone', DUNS Limited edition 002. Dunmall/Adams/Sanders.
1999, Hit and run, FMP CD 116. Dunmall with Edwards with Butcher.
1999, Bersudsky's machines, Coyote Records YOTE 004. Brian Irvine.
1999/2000, Master musicians of MU, SLAMCD 241. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs.
2000, QED, Blueprint BP339CD. Elton Dean.
2000, Out from the cage, FMR CD107-i0602. Dunmall/Bianco/Edwards/Adams.
2000, It escapes me, DUNS Limited edition 003. Paul Dunmall/Tony Marsh/Philip Gibbs.
2000, Zap III, DUNS Limited edition 005. Paul Dunmall/Tony Marsh/Steve Noble/Oren Marshall/Philip Gibbs/John Adams.
2000, Onosante, DUNS Limited edition 006. Paul Dunmall/Keith Tippett/Philip Gibbs/Pete Fairclough.
2000, EastWestNorthSouth, FMR CD72-0900. Dunmall/Adams/Gibbs/Sanders.
2000, The Great divide, Cuneiform RUNE 142. Paul Dunmall Octet.
2001, I You, FMR CD87-0801. Dunmall/Bianco.
2001, Manjah, DUNS Limited edition 007. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/M. Balachandar.
2001, Skirting the river road: songs and settings of Whitman, Blake and Vaughan, ECM 1785. Robin Williamson.
2001, Alien art, DUNS Limited edition 008. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
2001, Something normal, DUNS Limited edition 010. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/John Adams.
2001, Gwinks, DUNS Limited edition 009. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2001, Solo bagpipes II, DUNS Limited edition 012.
2001, Ja ja spoon, DUNS Limited edition 013. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
2001, Live at the Klinker 2001, DUNS Limited edition 016. Paul Dunmall/Tony Marsh.
2001, Zooplongoma, DUNS Limited edition 019. Dunmall/Jeffries/Gibbs/Adams/Marsh.
2001, Spacetime, Cuneiform RUNE 162. Mujician.
2001, Kunikazu, DUNS Limited edition 017. Paul Dunmall/Keith Tippett/Philip Gibbs/Peter Fairclough/Roberto Bellatalla.
2001, Simple skeletons, DUNS Limited edition 014. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Paul Rogers/Tony Levin.
2001, Dark clouds gathering, DUNS Limited edition 018. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Tony Bianco/Chris Dodds.
2001, All sorts of rituals, DUNS Limited edition 020. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs.
2002, The vision, DUNS Limited edition 021. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs.
2002, The State of Moksha, DUNS Limited edition 022. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2002, The State of Moksha live, DUNS Limited edition 024. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2002, Hour glass, Emanem 4208. Two trios of Tony Bianco and Paul Dunmall with Marcio Mattos/Paul Rogers.
2002, Bridging: The Great divide live, clean feed CF017CD. Paul Dunmall Octet.
2002, Bread & wine, DUNS Limited edition 025. Paul Dunmall/Tony Bianco.
2002, Live at the Quaker Centre, DUNS Limited edition 023. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2002, No agents of evil, DUNS Limited edition 026. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Andrew Ball/Neil Metcalfe/Hilary Jeffreys.
2002, High bird, low bird, DUNS Limited edition 027. Paul Dunmall/Hilary Jeffreys/Tony Marsh.
2002, Garganchelopes, DUNS Limited edition 028. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Hilary Jeffreys/Tony Bianco.
2003, Live at the Vortex, London, Rare Music 037. Evan Parker/Kenny Wheeler/Paul Dunmall/Tony Levin/John Edwards.
2003, In your shell like, Emanem 4111. Paul Dunmall/Paul Lytton/Stevie Wishart.
2003, It's abit nocturnal, DUNS Limited edition 029. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs/Neil Metcalfe.
2003, Can't just be a body, DUNS Limited edition 031. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/John Adams.
2003, Newsagents, DUNS Limited edition 032. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Andrew Ball/Neil Metcalfe/Hilary Jeffreys.
2003, Rylickolum: for your pleasure, CIMP #289. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Kevin Norton.
2003, Go forth Duck, CIMP #296. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Kevin Norton.
2003, Solo bagpipes, FMRCD118-0603.
2003, Now, FMRCD121-0703. Intuitive Art Ensemble.
2003, Log cabins, DUNS Limited Edition DLE 033. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
2003, I wish you peace, Cuneiform RUNE 203. Paul Dunmall Moksha Big Band.
2003, Awareness response, Emanem 4101. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
2003, 19 years later, DUNS Limited Edition DLE 035. Paul Dunmall/Bruce Coates.
2004, Remembrance, No Business Records NBCD 59-60. Elton Dean/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Tony Bianco.
2004, Nimes, DUNS Limited edition 036. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs; 4-CD set limited to 85 copies.
2004, Love, warmth and compassion, FMRCD155-i0804. Paul Dummall Qt.
2004, Moksha or mocca, DUNS Limited edition 038. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs/Rhodri Davies.
2004, Not a bit like coco, DUNS Limited edition 037. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs/Neil Metcalfe.
2004, Brothers in music, DUNS Limited edition 039. Paul Dunmall/Simon Thoumire/John Edwards/Philip Gibbs.
2004, Undistracted, DUNS Limited edition 040. Paul Rogers/Andrew Ball/Philip Gibbs/Jonathan Impett/Paul Dunmall.
2004, Live at the Old Library, DUNS Limited edition 043. Paul Dunmall/Bruce Coates/Philip Gibbs/Hilary Jeffrey.
2004, Live at the Priory, FMRCD161-i0205. Dartington Improvising Trio.
2004, Vesuvius, SLAMCD 262. Schlippenbach/Dunmall/Rogers/Bianco.
1995, 2000, 2004, Deep joy, DUNS Limited edition 041. Tony Levin/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers: 4 CD set.
2005, Bernd Wimmer on the burnt zimmer, DUNS Limited edition 042. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Steve Davis/Dave Kane.
2005, Mahogany rain, DUNS Limited edition 044. Keith Tippett/Julie Tippetts/Philip Gibbs/Paul Dunmall.
2005, The big return, DUNS Limited edition 045. Philip Gibbs/Paul Rogers/Paul Dunmall.
2005, Thank you Dorothy, DUNS Limited edition 046. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs/Tony Levin.
2005, Language of the spirit, Rare Music 035. Tony Levin/Paul Dunmall/John Edwards.
2005, Tapaleit, DUNS Limited edition 047. Paul Dunmall/Marcus Stockhausen/Philip Gibbs.
2005, Neen, DUNS Limited edition 048. Philip Gibbs/Tony Hymas/Paul Dunmall.
2005, Unnaturals, sharps & flats, FMRCD167-i0805. Solo.
2005, Illuminations, FMRCD171-i0805. Duo with Trevor Taylor.
2005, Don't take the magic out of life, DUNS Limited edition 049. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2005, Cosmic craftsmen, FMRCD185-i1105. Paul Rogers/Tony Bianco/Paul Dunmall.
2005, Zooghosis, FMRCD189-i0106. Paul Dunmall/Trevor Taylor/Paul Rogers.
2005, Peace and joy, SLAMCD267. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs/Hamid Drake.
2005, There's no going back now, Cuneiform RUNE 232. Mujician.
2005, Free zone Appleby 2005, psi 06.06. Gerd Dudek/Tony Levin/Evan Parker/Tony Marsh/Paul Dunmall/Philipp Wachsmann/John Edwards/Kenny Wheeler/Paul Rogers.
2005, Bold times, Rare Music 034. Tony Levin/Paul Dunmall/Ray Warleigh/Evan Parker.
2006, Life of dreams, Rare Music 036. Tony Levin/Paul Dunmall/Johannes Bauer/Paul Rogers.
2006, Solo tenor, DUNS Limited edition 050.
2006, Music on two pianos, DUNS Limited edition 052. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs.
2006, Occasional rain, FMRCD211-1106. Paul Dunmall/Peter Brandt.
2006, Deep well, FMRCD207-0606. Paul Dunmall/Peter Brandt/Tony Marsh.
2006, Live at the New Vortex, DUNS Limited edition 056. Paul Dunmall/John Edwards.
2006, Deep whole, FMRCD243-0807. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Mark Sanders.
2006, Blown away, DUNS Limited edition 053. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Roy Campbell/Daniel Carter/Paul Rogers/William Parker/Hamid Drake.
2006, The golden lake, DUNS Limited edition 055. Paul Dunmall/Tony Levin/Miles Levin.
2006, High birds Vol. 1, DUNS Limited edition 058. Paul Dunmall/Rozemarie Heggen/Alan Purves.
2006, High birds Vol. 2, DUNS Limited edition 059. Paul Dunmall/Hilary Jeffery/Rozemarie Heggen/Alan Purves.
2006, Etchings, DUNS Limited edition DVD01. Paul Dunmall/Tony Orrell.
2006, Deep see, FMRCD217-0207. Paul Dunmall/Tony Orrell/Jim Barr.
2006, What goes around..., Loose Torque LT 015. The September Quartet.
2007, All said & dun, Loose Torque LT 016. Paul Dunmall/Nick Stephens/Tony Marsh.
2007, New growth, DUNS Limited edition 057. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs.
2007, London meets Altbüron, DUNS Limited edition 060. Simon Picard/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Christian Weber/Tony Levin.
2007, Four moons, FMRCD241-0807. Paul Dunmall Quartet.
2007, Regeneration, FMRCD244-0807. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers.
2007, Mind out, FMRCD248-1107. Paul Dunmall/Barry Edwards/Mark Sanders.
2007, Crossing, FMRCD247-1107. Paul Dunmall/Trevor Taylor/Evelyn Chang.
2007, Live in Austria, FMRCD298-1210. Deep Joy Trio.
2007, Spirits past and future, DUNS Limited edition 062. Paul Dunmall/Tony Bianco.
2008, Boundless, FMRCD278-0709. Paul Dunmall/Barry Edwards/Philip Gibbs/Mark Sanders.
2008, Bionic beings' beginnings, DUNS Limited edition 061. Paul Dunmall/Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg/Philip Gibbs/Peter Brandt.
2008, Atmospheres without oxygen, FMRCD258-0508. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Trevor Taylor/Evelyn Chang.
2008, Identical sunsets, ESP - Disk 4058. Paul Dunmall/Chris Corsano.
2008, Exodus, Quartz QTZ2062. Paul Dunmall/Roman Mints.
2008, Opus de life, Porter Records PRCD 4032. Profound Sound Trio.
2008, Ancient and future airs, clean feed CF138CD. Paul Dunmall Sun Quartet.
2008, Moment to moment, SLAMCD 279. Paul Dunmall/Matthew Bourne/Dave Kane/Steve Davis.
2008, Asynchronous, SLAMCD 283. Fred Van Hove/Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Paul Lytton.
2008, Mahakali, DUNS Limited edition 064. Paul Dunmall/Evelyn Chang.
2008, Freedom Orchestra, FMR274-0708. Paul Rogers.
2008, Deep, FMRDVD03.
2008/09, Miles above, DUNS Limited edition 065. Paul Dunmall/Miles Levin.
2009, Repercussions, FMRCD277-0708. Dunmall/Rogers.
2009, Ritual beyond, FMRCD286-0210. Paul Dunmall/Tony Bianco/Dave Kane.
2009, Live at the Glucksman gallery, Cork, Owlhouse Recordings owlcd002. Han-earl Park/Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Jamie Smith.
2009, Quartet, BBB12/13. Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher.
2009, Boolean transforms, DUNS Limited edition 067. Paul Dunmall/Han-earl Park.
2009, Mumuksuta, DUNS Limited edition 066. Philip Gibbs/Paul Dunmall/Tony Hymas/Paul Rogers/Neil Metcalfe/Tony Levin.
2009, Dzama stories, Quartz QTZ2082. Ed Bennett.
2009, 21st Century V-bop, SLAMCD 284. Mark Anderson/Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Tony Hymas.
2010, MANU, FMRCD296-0810. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Miles Levin.
20010, Golden ocean, Rare Music 039. Paul Dunmall/Sophia Domancich/Tony Levin/Miles Levin.
2010, Live in Oxford, FMRCD295-0810. Atmospheres without oxygen 4.
2010, Sun inside, FMRCD306-0311. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Neil Metcalfe/Paul Rogers.
2011, From granite to wind, OGUN OGCD 036. Keith Tippett Octet.
2011, The Realisation Trio, FMRCD317-0911.
2011, Tribute to Tony Levin, FMRCD328-0112. Paul Dunmall/Phil Gibbs/Paul Rogers.
2011, Salt dolly, FMRCD326-0112. Realisation Trio.
2011, The lamp, Kilogram Records 023. Asunder Trio.
2011, The Iceberg Quartet, FMRCD332-0312.
2011, Pictures of a quartet, SLAMCD 539. Sebastiano Meloni/Paul Dunmall/Sebastiano Dessanay/Mark Sanders.
2011, Red Dhal Sextet, FMRCD364-1014.
2011, Thank you to John Coltrane, SLAMCD 290. Duo with Tony Bianco.
2011/12, Intervention, FMRCD334-0412. Paul Dunmall/Neil McGovern.
2012, For the last time, FMRCD342-0812. Tony Marsh/Paul Dunmall/Phil Gibbs.
2012, Pipe & drum, FMRCD333-0512. Duo with Mark Sanders.
2012, Weeping idols, FMRCD356-0513. Dunmall/Hanslip/Gibbs/Ricard.
2012, Luddite, New Atlantis NA-CD-011. Barker/Dunmall/Dahl.
2012, New atmospheres, FMRCD345-1112. Paul Dunmall/Philip Gibbs/Trevor Taylor.
2013, Descent III, FMRCD354-0513. Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Pat Thomas.
2013, The clouds turned silver, FMRCD372-0214. Paul Dunmall/Paul Rogers/Philip Gibbs.
2013, That deep calling, FMRCD370-0214. Deep Whole Trio.
2013, Cherry pickin', SLAMCD 294. Jim Dvorak/Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Chris Mapp.
2014, Extremes, Red Toucan 9349. Evan Parker/Paul Dunmall/Tony Bianco.
2014, Life in a black box, FMRCD382-0714. Willi Kellers Quartet.
2014, Life in four parts, FMRCD380-0714. Paul Dunmall Sextet.

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