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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aki Takase / Han Bennink: Two for Two

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Sparks should surely fly when two of the most creative musicians on the planet come together, shouldn't they? Well in this case, no. Pianist Aki Takase and drummer Han Bennink bring heavy experience to bear when they play, but in this case their efforts are underscored by a combination of tentativeness and heavy-handed humor. The latter hasn't been so leaden in the past and has been a welcome part of their work but here, as exemplified by the reading of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?," the quality is painted on thick enough ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ray Anderson / Han Bennink / Christy Doran: ABD

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The international collaborative trio of American trombonist Ray Anderson, Dutch drummer Han Bennink and Irish guitarist Christy Doran recorded two adventurous albums for hatART in the mid-1990s; Azurety was released in 1994 and Cheer Up arrived the following year. ABD collects the strongest tracks from these two sessions onto one disc, providing a valuable opportunity to re-examine the creative spontaneity these three artists share.Though the compilation's ten selections are wildly eclectic--one of Doran's progressive numbers sits precariously alongside a nostalgic Duke Ellington cover while the remaining pieces are evenly split between Anderson's writing and free improvisation--its diversity offers ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aki Takase/ Han Bennink: Two For Two

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The pairing of these two international jazz musicians--Japanese pianist Aki Takase and Dutch drummer Han Bennink--for an hour's worth of duets yields a worthy tribute to both Thelonious Monk and free jazz. The pair's Two For Two might have been better inscribed as Instant Monk.Although Takase and Bennink only cover two Monk compositions, reed man Eric Dolphy's tribute, “Hat And Beard," and the pianist's own “Hommage To Thelonious Monk," the entire sixteen tracks percolate a Monk constitution. Chalk that up to the fiercely swinging Bennink's love of odd angles and his mission to articulate the possibilities of rhythm ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ray Anderson / Han Bennink / Christy Doran: A B D

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In the '90s, this trio ascended to the upper echelon of all things considered cutting-edge in the wide open world of jazz and improvisation. This reissue is a compilation featuring all of Azurety (hatART, 1994) and three tracks culled from Cheer Up (hatART, 1995). Other than his superior improvisational faculties, Irish guitarist Christy Doran could give most metal or jazz-fusion guitarists a run for their money. The album boasts a consortium of jazz-blues overtones; tenacious three-way dialogues; free-form subplots; surrealistic slants; and jaunts into vast solar systems. One of many highlights, “March of the Hipsters," opens ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Han Bennink: Hazentijd

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Han BenninkHazentijdData Images2010 Han Bennink, Dutch master drummer and one of the godfathers of European improvised music, may not need an introduction, but this insightful documentary by director Jellie Dekker and producer Dick Lucas--who together made the documentary on another godfather of Dutch improvised music, pianist Misha Mengelberg--proves that most people probably have plenty more to learn about Bennink. Bennink has gained a reputation as a natural, intuitive drummer who can easily blur the distinction between traditional, swinging jazz and free improvised jazz. A versatile and imaginative musician ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Han Bennink Trio: Parken

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Han Bennink Trio Parken Ilk Music 2009

One of the most iconic players from the European free-music scene, Han Bennink's 50 plus year career has seen the Dutch master drummer traverse through a multitude of musical settings. Bennink's journey has embraced revolutionary, avant-jazz recordings such as saxophonist Peter Brotzmann's ferocious Machine Gun (FMP, 1968) and accompanying reed player Eric Dolphy on his final recording, Last Date (Verve, 1964), to providing the backbone of reed player Anthony Braxton's revisionist project around saxophonist Charlie Parker and a long and fruitful partnership with Dutch pianist ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Marc Ribot / Evan Parker / Han Bennink at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, June 14th

Marc Ribot / Evan Parker / Han Bennink Queen Elizabeth Hall London, England June 14, 2009

The Moment's Energy, a new ECM release from Evan Parker, may be a slight disappointment from an artist who has been acclaimed by some as the heir apparent to John Coltrane. Yet this appearance, part of London's Ornette Coleman-curated Meltdown festival, saw the sixty-something tenor and soprano player in first-rate form, particularly during an unaccompanied solo on the latter instrument. And he wasn't even the star of the show.

In visual terms, that honor went, somewhat predictably, ...



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