Fred Van Hove/ T’ Nonet: Suite for B… City

Pianist/organist/accordionist Fred Van Hove’s late ’60s trio with Han Bennink and Peter Brotzmann is an archetype of European Free Music intensity. In the intervening years, Van Hove has developed into a versatile, probing composer. His Suite for B… City is one of his most ambitious works to date, a disc-long piece that blends flexibly structured sections, such as the self-descriptive “Smooth Ascend & Bumpy Descend,” and pungent scored passages, such as the Haden-esque dirge-like “Town/Red.” Given the ‘t Nonet’s deep bench (Annick Nozati, voice; Axel Dorner, trumpet; Johannes Bauer, Paul Rutherford, trombones; John Butcher, Andre Goudbeek, saxes; Benoit Viredaz, tuba; Ivo Vander Borght, drums), the open spaces Van Hove creates for various sub-groupings are strong and varied.