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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove/ Shih-Yang Lee: Galactic Alignment

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Imagine what is was like when man first discovered fire. Fire! How his life changed, his dinner could be cooked, and soon after that (in the history of the universe terms) he was playing video games. Same could be said for the first musician to improvise. Next came New Orleans jazz, which could be documented by the wax cylinders, then shellac, vinyl, and today digital. That sound of American jazz traveled to Europe, and in the 1960s fire ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove / Peter Jacquemyn / Damon Smith: Burns Longer

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This unique, ad-hoc trio features Belgian master pianist Fred Van Hove, one of the architects of European free improvised music and close collaborator of influential European improvisers such as German reed man Peter Brötzmann, late bassist Peter Kowald, Dutch drummer Han Bennink, fellow countryman and double bassist (and sculptor) Peter Jacquemyn. Both of them rarely recorded in recent years with prolific American double bassist Damon Smith, who initiated this meeting and is influenced by the European approach to free improvisation. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove: Piano Solo

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Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove has always been identified with the European free music movement, but he also stands outside the cadre of players that formed the FMP label. This rerelease (first time on CD) of two solo LPs, Prosper (1981) and Die Letzte (1986), reaffirm his personality and uniqueness as an improvising player. Piano Solo comes as part of the limited edition box FMP im Rückblick--In Retrospect (1969-2010), with its extraordinary 218-page book full of photographs, articles, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove: The Complete Vogel Recordings

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Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove is represented on this two-disc reissue of three “rare as hen’s teeth” albums recorded between 1972 and 1974 for the Vogel label. (Note: this material is so rare that the CD set, dubbed from LP, sounds a bit rough at times.) The collection consists of two solo piano performances ( Fred Van Hove and Live At The University ), a duet LP with saxophonist Cel Overberghe ( Een Tweede Vogel ) and a 7 inch ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frank Gratkowski - Fred Van Hove - Tony Oxley: GRATHOVOX

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Recorded in Germany, these improvisational giants align their very special talents for what may appear to be a most unusual yet largely gratifying set. The trio commences with an open-ended sequence of interlacing movements on “Tartar.” As the musicians explore microtonal sounds and subliminally constructed mini-themes. Drummer/percussionist Tony Oxley uses his darkly hued cymbals for accents, while pianist Fred Van Hove and multi-reedman Frank Gratkowski implement parallel tonalities. The band occasionally veers off into circularly devised motifs amid manically developed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove: Flux

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Consider the physicality of a Fred Van Hove solo performance. Perhaps the word “physicality” as defined by Merriam-Webster’s “intensely physical orientation: with the predominance of the physical usually at the expense of the mental, spiritual, or social,” doesn’t quite fit. While his solo effort may seem like a 15 round heavyweight fight, it doesn’t neglect the mental, spiritual, or social aspects of creative music. Van Hove, born 1937 in Antwerp has been playing free jazz since the 1960s and solo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove: Flux

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This remarkable Belgian pianist has produced two new releases issued on separate labels: “Passing Waves” (see AAJ review Jan. 1998) on NUSCOPE records and this 2 CD “live” set titled “Flux” on Potlatch records. On Disk 1, Van Hove performs a piece called “Derive” which clocks in at 52 minutes. Once again Van Hove performs solo piano and the results are mind-boggling as one would expect. Van Hove utilizes huge muscular block chords to develop extremely complex phrasing while evolving ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Van Hove: Passing Waves

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Legendary Belgian free-jazz pianist Fred Van Hove launches the newly formed NUSCOPE label with an extraordinary display of solo piano pieces performed on the Baldwin SD-10 piano. As Mr. Van Hove mentions in the liners “Most of these titles are wordplays or phrases that came to my attention during my trips to the U.S, but I think that they fit the different musical pieces as well”. Fred Van Hove wields his way through a tour-de-force of inspirationally derived tunes that ...


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