Fred van Hove
Psi Records CD
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.