Maarten Altena

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Handicaps (1973), 5.5/10
Tuning the Bass (1975), 5.5/10
K'Ploeng (1977), 6/10
Papa Oewa (1978), 5.5/10
Weavers (1980), 5/10
Op Stap (1980), 5.5/10
Veranda (1982), 5.5/10
Tel (1982), 6/10
Miere (1983), 5.5/10
Rondedans (1984), 5.5/10
Rif (1987), 5.5/10
Quotl (1988), 5/10
Cities and Streets (1989), 5/10
Code (1990), 5/10

Dutch bassist Maarten Altena (1943), one of Willem Breuker's trusted collaborators from 1969 till 1973 and a member of Derek Bailey's Company from 1976 till 1977, revealed his dadaist spirit with the solo albums Handicaps (july 1973), played with a broken wrist, and Tuning The Bass (may 1975). K'ploeng (december 1977) featured collaborations with various musicians at the border between free-noise improvisation (led by guitarist Derek Bailey), chamber music (clarinet, cello, viola, mandolin) and childish provocation (the instrumentation included cigar box, balloons, toys, crackle synthesizer). After a trio with trombonist Guenter Christmann and drummer Paul Lovens,documented on Weavers (june 1980), a drum-less quartet with Maurice Horsthuis on viola, Maud Sauer on oboe and Paul Termos on alto saxophone became the main vehicle for Altena's unconventional improvisations: Op Stap (february 1980), Pisa (june 1980), Papa Oewa (june 1978) and Veranda (february 1982), Miere (july 1983), Rondedans (december 1984). The rhythm-less chamber approach was further radicalized by Tel (october 1982) that inaugurated the octet: bassoon (Lindsay Cooper), trumpet (Kenny Wheeler), trombone (Wolter Wierbos), oboe (Sauer), alto saxophone (Termos), violin (Maartje ten Hoorn), piano (Guus Janssen) and bass (Altena). Altena progressively distanced himself from free improvisation and rediscovered composition, melody and the song format, becoming a sophisticated composer of the trans-avantgarde. Rif (august 1987), Quotl (december 1988), Cities And Streets (october 1989), Code (december 1990) refined his hyper-fusion for chamber jazz octet (typically, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, violin, piano, bass and percussion).
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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