Van Hove Live

Fred van Hove

Journey

Psi Records CD

 Fred Van Hove

Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove is a household name on the European free improvisation scene. His solo concerts are justifiably famous, as this 2007 date recorded live at the Jazz á Mulhouse festival demonstrates.

Divided into two tracks, timed like the album sides of old, Journey is nevertheless best imbibed as a single long-form musical unit. Mozartean flourishes and spicily dissonant turns pirouette across the keyboard as a delightful amuse-bouche before Van Hove slides – the operative word – into the main course: a pitch-blurring tangle of glissandi. These are succeeded by thunderous, rapturous verticals served up in thick walls of sound. The pianist’s Journey thus inhabits both sides of the experimental music fence – classical and jazz – bringing to bear a cultivated technique in passionate explorations: a most satisfying combination.    

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