Don’t Just Do Something.. Stand There! [CAA-054]

By Paul Lytton & Fred Van Hove

Album: Don't Just Do Something.. Stand There! [CAA-054]


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“From the rich array of music in the Paul Lytton Archives, Don’t Just Do Something…Stand There! represents the first duo release of Paul Lytton and Fred Van Hove. The two musicians played together many times over the decades, however, including their outing as Berliner Begegnung, Wo Der Kopf Sitz, in a trio with saxophonist Wolfgang Fuchs recorded in 1986 and released on the FMP sister label SAJ Records. Belgian pianist Van Hove had emerged into European free music in the mid 1960s, a few years before British drummer Lytton began appearing in the ranks of London’s busy advanced jazz and early improvised music scenes. This was the first period of great internationalization in the improvised music of middle Europe, when Brits and Germans and Dutch players began cavorting with each other and with select players from places with smaller scenes, like Switzerland and Belgium. Van Hove gained visibility as a member of Peter Brötzmann’s groups starting around 1967, with his appearance on Machine Gun (FMP, 1968) foreshadowing a working trio with Brötzmann and drummer Han Bennink. Lytton, who eventually expatriated from the U.K. to the Belgian countryside, has remained committed to freely improvised music, working with an array of musicians from around the globe. Like Van Hove, Lytton’s approach to group interplay has also been informed by extensive solo exploration, and this recording, part of a double bill with trombonist Paul Rutherford (who played solo) recorded at a small theater in Ixelles, Belgium, in 2004, bears the fruit of both astute listening and highly inventive personal vocabularies. The music gains intensity as it goes but also refrains from classic “hills and valleys” method of gathering and dissipating tension, instead spreading out swells and eruptions into more unexpected passages, then ascending a mountainous crescendo, Lytton countering by bringing the dynamic all the way down just as the piano enters an incredible swirling vortex toward the end of the first piece. As always these master improvisors attend to the details of their interaction, combining energies and textures in a thrilling and unconventional performance. ” -John Corbett, March 2023

Fred Van Hove, piano
Paul Lytton, drums and percussionRecorded by Michael W. Huon at Le Petit Theatre Mercelis, October 26, 2004
Recording drawn from the Paul Lytton Archives at Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.Artwork by Paul Lytton
Design by Federico Peñalva