A limited edition LP documenting the duo performance between European Free Improv legends, pianist Fred Van Hove and multi-reedist Peter Brotzmann, recorded at the Summer Bummer Festival in 2019 for an intimately forceful performance, four extended dialogs of immense technical skill and creative drive, a great summation of their adventurous collaboration.
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Label: Dropa Disc
Catalog ID: 009
Squidco Product Code: 29743
Recorded live at the Summer Bummer Festival, at DE Studio, in Antwerp, Belgium, on August 24th 2019, by Nick Symons.
Fred Van Hove-piano
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• Show Bio for Fred Van Hove
Fred Van Hove: "Born 1937 in Antwerp, Belgium; piano, accordion, church organ, composer.
Fred Van Hove studied piano, theory and harmony at the Music Academy in Belgium and experimented with several jazz styles and dance music before making the transition to free improvisation with local musicians (Zinzen, Van De Ven and Wanders). He has been a professional free-lance musician since 1964.
1966 saw the beginning of Van Hove's collaboration with Peter Brötzmann, initially in quartet or larger groupings (eg Machine Gun), then stabilising in a trio format (with Han Bennink) for five to six years; in 1995 contact with Brötzmann was renewed when the two played a duo as part of the 'Pool' at the Free Music XXII in Antwerp in August. His first solo concerts were played at the Avant-garde festival Gravensteen, Ghent, in 1970 and Jazz Middleheim, in Antwerp in 1971. In 1972, working as a duo with Belgian sax player Cel Overberghe, he refused to play at the Middelheim festival as a result of a dispute over the grossly differential fees being paid to visiting American musicians on the one hand and European musicians on the other. This dispute led to the foundation of the musicians collective WIM vzw, Werkgroep Improviserende Musici, whose aim was to improve the situation of free music in Belgium. Fred Van Hove has been Chairman of WIM since then.
From 1976, and in collaboration with, for example, De Andere Film Antwerp & Ghent, Dommelhof Neerpeilt (Belgium), and Filmhaus Berlin, he has provided solo accompaniment to silent movies, particularly experimental films of the 1920s (Griffiths, Porter, Murnau, Lang, Dreyer, among others) as well as comedies and animations. He has also performed regularly with duo partners who have included: Steve Lacy; Vinko Globokar; Lol Coxhill; Albert Mangelsdorf; Annick Nozati; Phil Wachsmann; André Goodbeek; Paul Van Gyseghem.
From the end of the 1970s, Van Hove formed a number of groups utilising the initials MLA (Musica Libera Antverpiae) and MLB (Musica Libera Belgicae) or similar. The first MLA, formed in 1978, was a group of variable composition from a nucleus of seven musicians: three strings; three brass; piano. This undertook several tours and festivals (e.g. at Jazz Middelheim, and London). In 1979, MLA Blek comprised Marc Charig on trumpet and Radu Malfatti and Paul Rutherford on trombones and toured Italy. Formed in 1980, though recorded in 1982, the ML DD 4 consisted of Marc Charig, Phil Wachsmann and Günther 'Baby' Sommer on percussion and toured through several ex-DDR European countries. In 1983, Fred Van Hove was invited to Berlin by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) as artist in residence for six months, April to October. During this time he took the opportunity to play concerts with MLA, MLA Blek and ML DD 4, but also to play extensively with local musicians in a series of MLBB: Berliner Begegnungen or Berlin Encounters.
In the mid-80s, Fred Van Hove undertook several tours of Japan playing solo and duos with a wide variety of musicians including percussionist Sabu Toyozumi, bass player Tetsu Saitoh; and US and European musicians such as: Ned Rothenberg; Douglas Ewart; Peter Kowald; Hans Reichel; Evan Parker; and Barry Guy. A three-day Van Hove festival was held at the concert hall Space Who, Saitama, celebrating its 5th anniversary.
The Belgisch Pianokwartet was formed in 1984, four pianists at 2 grands, originally consisting of Walter Hus, Christian Leroy and Eddy Loozen, but more recently with Marilyn Crispell replacing Hus and the group name becoming 't Pianokwartet. The MLB III trio with André Goudbeek, saxophone, and Ivo Vander Borght, percussion was formed around the same time, recorded in 1988 and toured the former DDR (with trumpeter Andy Altenfeldert), Spain and the Netherlands. Since 1988 the trio with the French singer Annick Nozati and the German trombonist Johannes Bauer has recorded and toured and, from 1991, 't Nonet has performed, comprising: Marc Charig or Axel Dörner, trumpet; Annick Nozati, voice; Paul Rutherford and Johannes Bauer, trombones; Benoit Viredaz, tuba, Evan Parker or John Butcher and André Goudbeek, saxophones; and Ivo Vander Borght, percussion. Cooperation with other musicians has included Luc Houtkamp, Connie Bauer and Wolfgang Fuchs.
Fred Van Hove has cooperated with poets and painters (the action painter W.J.C. Free) and held seminars and workshops on improvisation in Antwerp, Tilberg, Ghent, Amsterdam, in England and Germany and, since 1990, at Département d'Etudes Musicales, University Lille 3, France. In June 1996 the Belgium government conferred on Fred Van Hove the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders 1996, an award that included a grant for touring outside of Belgium."-European Free Improvisation Pages (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mvanhove.html)
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• Show Bio for Peter Brotzmann
"Born Remscheid, Germany on 6 March 1941; soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, a-clarinet, e-flat clarinet; bass clarinet, tarogato.
Peter Brötzmann's early interest was in painting and he attended the art academy in Wuppertal. Being very dissatisfied with the gallery/exhibition situation in art he found greater satisfaction playing with semi-professional musicians, though continued to paint (as well as retaining a level of control over his own records, particularly in record sleeve/CD booklet design). In late 2005 he had a major retrospective exhibition jointly with Han Bennink - two separate buildings separated by an inter-connecting glass corridor - in Brötzmann's home town of Remscheid.
Self-taught on clarinets, he soon moved to saxophones and began playing swing/bebop, before meeting Peter Kowald. During 1962/63 Brötzmann, Kowald and various drummers played regularly - Mingus, Ornette Coleman, etc. - while experiencing freedoms from a different perspective via Stockhausen, Nam June Paik, David Tudor and John Cage. In the mid 1960s, he played with American musicians such as Don Cherry and Steve Lacy and, following a sojourn in Paris with Don Cherry, returned to Germany for his unorthodox approach to be accepted by local musicians like Alex von Schlippenbach and Manfred Schoof.
The trio of Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald and Sven-Ake Johansson began playing in 1965/66 and it was a combination of this and the Schoof/Schlippenbach Quintet that gave rise to the first Globe Unity Orchestra. Following the self-production of his first two LPs, For Adolphe Sax and Machine gun for his private label, BRÖ, a recording for Manfred Eicher's 'Jazz by Post' (JAPO) [Nipples], and a number of concert recordings with different sized groups, Brötzmann worked with Jost Gebers and started the FMP label. He also began to work more regularly with Dutch musicians, forming a trio briefly with Willem Breuker and Han Bennink before the long-lasting group with Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove. As a trio, and augmented with other musicians who could stand the pace (e.g. Albert Mangelsdorff on, for example, The Berlin concert), this lasted until the mid-1970s though Brötzmann and Bennink continued to play and record as a duo, and in other combinations, after this time. A group with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo continued the trio format though was cut short by Miller's early death.
The thirty-plus years of playing and recording free jazz and improvised music have produced, even on just recorded evidence, a list of associates and one-off combinations that include just about all the major figures in this genre: Derek Bailey (including performances with Company (e.g. Incus 51), Cecil Taylor, Fred Hopkins, Rashied Ali, Evan Parker, Keiji Haino, Misha Mengelberg, Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Phil Minton, Alfred 23 Harth, Tony Oxley. Always characterised as an energy player - and the power-rock setting of Last Exit with Ronald Shannon Jackson, Sonny Sharock and Bill Laswell, or his duo performances with his son, Casper, did little to disperse this conviction - his sound is one of the most distinctive, life-affirming and joyous in all music. But the variety of Brötzmann's playing and projects is less recognised: his range of solo performances; his medium-to-large groups and, in spite of much ad hoc work, a stability brought about from a corpus of like- minded musicians: the group Ruf der Heimat; pianist Borah Bergman; percussionist Hamid Drake; and Die like a dog, his continuing tribute to Albert Ayler, with Drake, William Parker and Toshinori Kondo. Peter Brötzmann continues a heavy touring schedule which, since 1996 has seen annual visits to Japan and semi-annual visits to the thriving Chicago scene where he has played in various combinations from solo through duo (including one, in 1997, with Mats Gustafsson) to large groups such as the Chicago Octet/Tentet, described below. He has also released a number of CDs on the Chicago-based Okka Disk label, including the excellent trio with Hamid Drake and the Moroccan Mahmoud Gania, at times sounding like some distant muezzin calling the faithful to become lost in the rhythm and power of the music.
The "Chicago Tentet" was first organized by Brötzmann with the assistance of writer/presenter John Corbett in January 1997 as an idea for a one-time octet performance that included Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang (drums), Kent Kessler (bass) and Fred Lomberg-Holm (cello), Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams (reeds), and Jeb Bishop (trombone). The first meeting was extremely strong and warranted making the group an ongoing concern and in September of that same year the band was expanded to include Mats Gustafsson (reeds) and Joe McPhee (brass) as permanent members (with guest appearances by William Parker (bass), Toshinori Kondo (trumpet/electronics), and Roy Campbell (trumpet) during its tenure) - all in all a veritable who's who of the contemporary improvising scene's cutting edge. Though the Tentet is clearly led by Brötzmann and guided by his aesthetics, he has been committed to utilizing the compositions of other members in the ensemble since the beginning. This has allowed the band to explore an large range of structural and improvising tactics: from the conductions of Mats Gustafsson and Fred Lonberg-Holm, to the vamp pieces of Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake, to compositions using conventional notation by Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams, to Brötzmann's graphic scores - the group employs almost every contemporary approach to composing for an improvising unit. This diversity in compositional style, plus the variety in individualistic approaches to improvisation, allows the Tentet to play extremely multifaceted music. As the band moves from piece to piece, it explores intensities that range from spare introspection to all out walls of sound, and rhythms that are open or free from a steady pulse to those of a heavy hitting groove. It is clear that the difficult economics of running a large band hasn't prevented the group from continuing to work together since its first meeting. Through their effort they've been able to develop an ensemble sound and depth of communication hard to find in a band of any size or style currently playing on the contemporary music scene."-EFI (European Free Improvisation Pages) (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mbrotzm.html)
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^ Hide Bio for Peter Brotzmann
1. Terms And Phrases 15:51
2. Quite A Package 5:08
1. Front To Front 7:14
2. Nervous Pudding 7:12
sample the album:
"It took a while before Fred Van Hove and Peter Brötzmann reached their spot on the stage of the Summer Bummer Festival in 2019. This was a highly anticipated concert of two legendary musicians that wiped the floor with just about any concept of jazz and improvised music when they and their peers came to prominence in the second half of the sixties. While the audience started applauding and cheering all the other participating artists of the festival - amongst them good folk like Angel Bat Dawid, Steve Noble, Thurston Moore, Paal Nilssen-Love, Frank Rosaly, Jeb Bishop, Signe Emmeluth, Adam Cadell ... - where rushing in hoping to secure a good seat for this exceptional concert. When reaching center stage Van Hove stopped and looked at the audience, amused and amazed at so many enthusiastic people while Brötzmann prepared his horns and waited, stoically.
You could feel the tension building. Several more minutes passed before Van Hove decided to slowly continu to the piano at the far end of the stage. And then, just when everyone in the audience thought he definitely lost it on the way over, bam... In a split second Van Hove sat down, hit the piano keys with brute force diving into an impressive cluster of notes front to front with Brötzmann's powerful trademark tenor skronk, an introduction that instantly made the seated audience rock backwards in sync, as if an emotional tidal wave just hit them full on, leaving some of them ecstatic and some of them in tears. That's what a concert can do to a person when almost 60 years of pioneering adventurous music is brilliantly compressed into 40 minutes of sheer musical bliss by two of it's central figures."-Dropa Disc
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