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Keune, Stefan / Lovens, Paul: Live 2013 (FMR)

Working together in various ensembles since the early 90s, Stefan Keune on sopranino, alto and baritone saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums and cymbals captured these three extraordinary improvisation in the studio in Brussels, Belgium and live Munich Underground in Germany.

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product information:

UPC: 0642415163057

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMRCD407-0116
Squidco Product Code: 22191

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Digipack
"Brussels" recorded at Studio Grez, in Brussels, Belgium.

"Munich" recorded at MUG - Munich Underground, EinsteinKultur, Munich, Germany.


Stefan Keune-sopranino saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone

Paul Lovens-drums, cymbal

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Artist Biographies:

"Stefan Keune: Born in Oberhausen, Germany, 1965

From 1982, Stefan Keune studied privately with various teachers starting on the tenor saxophone. He was attracted to free improvised music from the beginning while using classical techniques from contemporary music as the basis of his playing. Keune began playing in local groups from 1985 (with Martin Blume amongst others) and since then he has intensively dedicated himself to the different kinds of improvised music. In 1990 he established contacts, first of all with Paul Lytton, then also with Dietmar Diesner, Matthias Bauer and others. In 1991, together with Lytton and bass player Hans Schneider he founded the "Stefan Keune Trio", and in 1992, the CD Loft was released. This was followed by an intense chamber-music-like phase of work, for example in a quartet with Paul Lovens, John Russell and Hans Schneider. He has played in close association with British free improvisors such as Roger Turner, Phil Durrant, John Butcher and others as well as with the other European improvisors such as Mats Gustafsson, Raymond Strid, Radu Malfatti and Peter Kowald. Recent groupings include a duo with John Russell, a duo with Paul Lovens, a trio with Dominic Lash and Steve Noble, a trio with Georg Wolf and Jörg Fischer, a quartet with Hans-Peter Hiby, Raoul van der Weide and Martin Blume and also one of the seminal groups within German free improvisation, XPACT (with Erhard Hirt, Hans Schneider and Paul Lytton)."

-Stefan Keune Website (

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"Born in Aachen, Germany, 6 June 1949; Drums, percussion, musical saw, etc.

Paul Lovens played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improvisor on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, among whom have included the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton. He has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries, is a founder member of a musician's cooperative and has produced recordings for his own label, Po Torch Records since 1976. He has worked with painter Herbert Bardenheuer. Despite very rare solo performances, and although giving occasional concerts with ad-hoc groups and an involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, Paul Lovens' main interest and work is musical improvisation in fixed small groups. In the mid-1990s these small groups numbered around 16, of which a few were part of a special selection, called 'vermögen'.

Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf bagatellen, Nothing to read, Pakistani pomade, and ,stranger than love."

-European Free Improv (

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track listing:

1. Brussels, April 14th 2013 29:52

2. Munich, April 13th 2013 31:40

3. Munich, April 13th 2013 2:03
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"3 Great new improvisations from ace improvisers , Keune and Lovens recorded in 3 three locations around Europe! Stefan Keune and Paul Lovens have been working together in various ensembles since the early nineties. In 2013 they had the opportunity to perform as a duo, the results were these are these fabulous recordings"-FMR

"The saxophone/drums duo might be the most intense and concentrated formation in improvised music, reduced to the absolutely necessary: melody and rhythm. Lots of players have used this constellation, from John Coltrane/Rashied Ali's Interstellar Space (1967/released 1974) to Frank Wright/Muhammad Ali's Adieu Little Man (1974) to Peter Brötzmann/Hamid Drake's The Dried Rat-Dog (1995) and Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love's Lightning Over Water (2014) (this is just a random selection, of course), because like no other it offers the possibility to establish a symbiosis.

However, while the aforementioned duos often focus on raw energy, which is mostly created by deep and howling sounds, Stefan Keune and Paul Lovens concentrate on microscopic details, intimacy, and silence. This can be heard at "Munich, April 13th, 2013", the second track on this album (the first one was recorded in Brussels the day after, the third one is the short Munich encore). Keune (sopranino, alto and baritone saxophones) carefully explores the higher registers of his instruments in meticulously staked areas of sounds, which he subjects to close scrutiny with restrained mercurial bursts, chirps and twitters, and harsh overblowing. He pushes them to such extremes that one might be afraid that he could get absorbed by his own universe. His highly specific sound, which reminds of Evan Parker and Swiss reedist Hans Koch, meets one of Europe's free jazz veterans, Paul Lovens, on selected and unselected drums and cymbals - a distinction he likes to make, meaning that he uses material he has taken with him or which he is given on location. Lovens, who actually comes from a rather energetic approach in his early days with the Schlippenbach Trio, contributes to Keune's sounds with very fiddly, dizzy and edgy intersperses, which must not be confused with agitated and hectic ones. In the middle of the piece the saxophone mumbles as if it was daydreaming so that it seems to get lost and almost disappears before Lovens actually pulls Keune back on track with a very resolute roll on the toms.

What makes the duo a real symbiosis is the fact that Lovens responds to Keune's reed flutter with a high-pitched drum set and an increased use of cymbals and little gongs. If the album was released on vinyl you would check if you played it on 45 instead of 33 rpm.

The result is an hour of exquisite music, full of microtonal expressiveness, concentrated fragility, and high-octane tension - where two musicians become one. Absolutely worth listening to."-Martin Schray, Free Jazz Blog

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
FMR Records
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos

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