Pianist Fred van Hove
European free improvisation movement was truly international, involving Dutch, German, British, Swedish, Italian, and Belgian musicians, developing eventually into separate, if related national scenes. The music these men played was intentionally rough, loud, and virtuosic, an assault on the ears that sought to eradicate listening habits and bourgeois comfort, in concert with the political and artistic revolts of the late sixties.
One of the seminal groups in the new music was a trio consisting of the German saxophonist Peter Broetzmann, the Dutch percussionist Han Bennink, and the Belgian pianist Fred van Hove, who had earlier worked together in various combinations, including Broetzmann's octet. The trio was formed in 1970 and stayed together for five years; after it dissolved, Broetzmann and Bennink continued to play together off and on as a duo and with other musicians. In recent years they've both visited this country quite often, performing in Ann Arbor and its vicinity, but van Hove went his own way and remains less known on these shores.