Pianist and composer Fred Van Hove (°1937) was involved in the Big Bang of European free improvisation (Machine Gun by the Peter Brötzmann Octet), but also became one of Europe’s finest and most underestimated improvisers. Mostly known for his 70’s trio with Brötzmann and Han Bennink, Van Hove’s trajectory over the past 4 decades has been one of the brilliant, but unsung stories of the music.
The new Dropa Disc release Fred Van Hove At 80 is an effort to rectify this imbalance and give some credit where it’s due. Combining three sublime concerts that were recorded in 2017 with a 80-page hardcover book containing a rich, extended essay by Hugo de Craen and beautiful photos from the year in which the celebrations took place, Fred Van Hove At 80 is a much-needed document that no serious lover of the music can afford to miss.
CD 1 – Fred Van Howe - Evan Parker - Hamid Drake
Recorded by Michael Huon at deSingel, Antwerp 4 February 2017
Edited & Mixed by Michael Huon and Koen Vandenhoudt, Brussels 2018
Mastered by Michael Huon, Brussels 2018
Live concert produced by Sound in Motion & deSingel/Jerry Aerts
CD 2 – Fred Van Howe - Solo Piano Recorded by Michael Huon at NONA, Mechelen 1 April 2017 Edited & Mixed by Michael Huon and Koen Vandenhoudt, Brussels 2018 Mastered by Michael Huon, Brussels 2018 Live concert produced by NONA/Bart Vanvoorden
CD 3 – Fred Van Howe - Solo Organ Recorded by Michael Huon at BOZAR, Brussels 13 December 2017 Edited & Mixed by Michael Huon and Koen Vandenhoudt, Brussels 2018 Mastered by Michael Huon, Brussels 2018 Live concert produced by BOZAR/Roel Vanhoeck
Fred Van Hove is a Belgian jazz musician and a pioneer of European free jazz. He is a pianist, accordionist, church organist, and carillonist, an improviser and a composer. He is known for his work in the 1960s and 70s with saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and drummer Han Bennink and for his subsequent work in various duos and as a solo artist.
Van Hove studied musical theory, harmony and piano in Belgium. He began an association with saxophonist Peter Brötzmann in 1966, playing on his early quartet and sextet recordings including 1968's Machine Gun album, and then as part of a trio with Brötzmann and drummer Han Bennink. Van Hove has since played in a number of duos, notably with saxophonists Steve Lacy and Lol Coxhill and with trombonists Albert Mangelsdorff and Vinko Globokar. He has composed for film and theatre and taught local musicians in Berlin. He has held workshops in Germany, France, England, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and has held studios at the University of Lille III. Van Hove has collaborated with a number of his fellow Belgian musicians and in 1996 he was given the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders by the Belgian government.