Han Bennink

Han Bennink - © www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk

born on 17/4/1942 in Zaandam, Nordholland, Netherlands

Han Bennink

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Han Bennink (born 17 April 1942) is a Dutch jazz drummer and percussionist. On occasion his recordings have featured him playing clarinet, violin, banjo and piano.

Though perhaps best known as one of the pivotal figures in early European free jazz and free improvisation, Bennink has worked in essentially every school of jazz, and is described by critic Chris Kelsey[1] as "one of the unfortunately rare musicians whose abilities and interests span jazz's entire spectrum." Known for often injecting slapstick and absurdist humor into his performances, Bennink has had especially fruitful long-term partnerships with pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann. Han is a brother of saxophonist Peter Bennink.

Early life and education

Bennink was born in Zaandam, the son of a classical percussionist. He played the drums and the clarinet during his teens.

Playing career

Through the 1960s he drummed with a number of American musicians visiting the Netherlands, including Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy (he can be heard on Dolphy's recording, Last Date (1964)).

He subsequently became a central figure in the emerging European free improvisation scene. In 1963 he formed a quartet with pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Piet Noordijk which had a number of different bassists and which played at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival, and in 1967 he was a co-founder of the Instant Composers Pool with Mengelberg and Willem Breuker, which sponsored Dutch avant garde performances. From the late 1960s he played in a trio with saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove, which became a duo after Van Hove's departure in 1976. Through much of the 1990s he played in Clusone 3 (also known as the Clusone Trio), a trio with saxophonist/clarinetist Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger. He has often played duos with Mengelberg and collaborated with him alongside other musicians.

From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, Bennik collaborated closely with Dutch post-punk band The Ex, appearing on their 1995 album Instant and travelling and playing with them on their first tour to Ethiopia.


As well as playing with these long-standing groups, Bennink has performed and recorded solo (Tempo Comodo (1982) being among his solo recordings) and played with many free improvisation and free jazz luminaries including Derek Bailey, Conny Bauer, Don Cherry and Alexander von Schlippenbach, as well as more conventional jazz musicians like Lee Konitz. In 1983 he collaborated with boogie-woogie pianist and vocalist Little Willie Littlefield for his album I'm in the Mood.[2]


Bennink's style is wide-ranging, running from conventional jazz drumming to highly unconventional free improvisation, for which he often uses whatever found objects happen to be onstage (chairs, music stands, instrument cases), his own body (a favourite device involves putting a drumstick in his mouth and striking it with the other stick), and the entire performance space—the floor, doors, and walls. He makes frequent use of birdcalls and whatever else strikes his fancy (one particularly madcap performance in Toronto in the 1990s involved a deafening fire alarm bell placed on the floor).


The following is a partial list of recordings by Han Bennink.[3]

Solo albums

  • 1970: Solo (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1973: Nerve Beats (UMS, ALP, Atavistic)
  • 1979: Solo - West/East (FMP)
  • 1982: Tempo Comodo (Data Records)
  • 1997: Serpentine (Songlines Recordings)
  • 2001: Nerve Beats (Atavistic)
  • 2007: Amplified Trio (Treader Records)
  • 2009: Parken (ILK Music)


As leader
  • 1968: Instant Composers Pool, (Instant Composers Pool), with Misha Mengelberg and John Tchicai
  • 1972: Derek Bailey & Han Bennink (Ictus) with Derek Bailey
  • 1979: A European Proposal (Live In Cremona) (Horo Records), including with Misha Mengelberg, Paul Rutherford and Mario Schiano
  • 1997: 3 (VIA Jazz), with Michiel Borstlap and Ernst Glerum
  • 2000: Jazz Bunker (Golden Years Of New Jazz), with Eugene Chadbourne and Toshinori Kondo
  • 2004: Free Touching (Live In Beijing At Keep In Touch) (Noise Asia), with Wong Young, Andreas Schreiber, Dennis Rea, Steffen Schorn, and Claudio Puntin
  • 2004: Home Safely (Favorite), with Curtis Clark and Ernst Glerum
  • 2004: 3 (55 Records), with Michiel Borstlap and Ernst Glerum
  • 2005: BBG (Favorite), with Michiel Borstlap and Ernst Glerum
  • 2008: Monk Volume One (Gramercy Park Music), with Michiel Borstlap and Ernst Glerum
  • 2010: Laiv (Bassesferec), with Fabrizio Puglisi and Ernst Glerum
With Gary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Jackie McLean and Charlie Mariano
  • Altissimo (Philips, 1973)
With Anthony Braxton
  • Anthony Braxton's Charlie Parker Project 1993 (HatART, 1993 [1995])
With Eric Dolphy
  • 1964: Last Date (Limelight Records)
  • 1974: Playing: Epistrophy, June 1, 1964 In Eindhoven, Holland (Instant Composers Pool), including with Misha Mengelberg and Jacques Schols
With Paul Ruys
With Willem Breuker
  • 1967: New Acoustic Swing Duo (Instant Composers Pool)
With Peter Brötzmann
  • 1968: Machine Gun (FMP)
  • 1969: Nipples (Calig)
  • 1970: Balls (FMP), including with Fred Van Hove
  • 1977: Ein Halber Hund Kann Nicht Pinkeln (FMP)
  • 1977: Schwarzwaldfahrt (FMP)
  • 1979: 3 Points And A Mountain (FMP), including with Misha Mengelberg
  • 1980: Atsugi Concert (Gua Bungue)
  • 2005: Still Quite Popular After All Those Years (BRÖ Records)
  • 2006: Total Music Meeting 1977 Berlin (BRÖ Records)
  • 2008: In Amherst 2006 (BRÖ Records)
With Evan Parker
  • 1970: The Topography of the Lungs (Incus) with Derek Bailey
  • 2002: The Grass Is Greener (psi)
With Don Cherry
  • 1971: Orient (BYG)
With Paul Bley and Annette Peacock
  • 1971: Improvisie (America)
  • 1972: Dual Unity (Freedom)
With Misha Mengelberg
  • 1971: Instant Composers Pool 010 (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1972: Een Mirakelse Tocht Door Het Scharrebroekse no. 1-6 (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1974: EinePartieTischtennis (FMP, Instant Composers Pool), live
  • 1975: Coincidents (Stichting ICP Geluidsdragers, Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1978: Midwoud 77 (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1978: Groupcomposing (Instant Composers Pool), including with Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Peter Bennink, Paul Rutherford, and Derek Bailey
  • 1978: Fragments (Instant Composers Pool), including with John Tchicai, and Derek Bailey
  • 1982: Bennink Mengelberg (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1985: Change Of Season (Music Of Herbie Nichols) (Soul Note), including with Steve Lacy, George Lewis, and Arjen Gorter
  • 1991: Dutch Masters (Soul Note), with Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Ernst Reyseger, and Han Bennink
  • 1994: Mix (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1996: The Instant Composers Pool 30 Years (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 1998: MiHa (Instant Composers Pool)
  • 2001: Four in One (Songlines Recordings), with Misha Mengelberg Quartet (Dave Douglas, Brad Jones, Han Bennink)[4]
  • 2004: Senne Sing Song (Tzadik)
With Kees Hazevoet
  • 1978: Calling Down The Flevo Spirit (Snipe Records)
With Steve Lacy
  • 1978: Lumps (Instant Composers Pool), including with Michel Waisvisz and Maarten Van Regteren Altena
With Dudu Pukwana
  • 1979: Yi Yole (Instant Composers Pool), including with Misha Mengelberg
With Keshavan Maslak
  • 1980: Humanplexity (Leo Records), including with Misha Mengelberg
With Roswell Rudd
  • 1983: Regeneration (Soul Note), including with Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, and Misha Mengelberg
With Pino Minafra
  • 1987: Tropic Of The Mounted Sea Chicken (Splasc(H) Records), including with Michele Lomuto, Misha Mengelberg, and Unknown Artist
With Sean Bergin
  • 1988: Kid's Mysteries (Nimbus West)
With Little Willie Littlefield
  • 1983: I'm in the Mood (Oldie Blues)
With Steve Beresford
  • 1987: Directly To Pyjamas (Nato)
  • 2002: B + B (Instant Composers Pool)
With Pino Minafra
  • 1987: Tropic Of The Mounted Sea Chicken (Splasc(H) Records), including with Misha Mengelberg, Michele Lomuto, and Unknown Artist
  • 1991: Noci...Strani Frutti (Live At Europa Festival Jazz) (Leo Records), including with Ernst Reijseger
With Cecil Taylor
  • 1988: Spots, Circles, and Fantasy (FMP)
With Ray Anderson and Christy Doran
  • 1994: Azurety (hat ART)
  • 1995: Cheer Up (hat ART)
  • 2011: Who Is In Charge? (Kemo), including with Frank Möbus, Ernst Glerum, and Paul van Kemenade
With Irene Schweizer
  • 1996: Irène Schweizer & Han Bennink (Intakt Records)
  • 2015: Welcome Back (Intakt Records)
With Myra Melford
  • 1997: Eleven Ghosts (hatOLOGY) recorded 1994
With Cor Fuhler and Wilbert De Joode
  • 1998: Bellagram (Geestgronden)
  • 1998: "Zilch" (ConundromCd)
  • 2003: Tinderbox (Data Records)
With Ellery Eskelin
  • 1998: Dissonant Characters (hatOLOGY)
With Terrie Ex (and others)
  • 2000: The Laughing Owl (Terp Records)
  • 2002: Ethiopia Tour 2002 (Not On Label)
  • 2006: Transparancy-Wolk 3 (Terp Records), including with Rik van Iersel, Bart Maris, and P Jacomyn
  • 2007: Zeng! (Terp Records)
  • 2010: Let's Go (Terp Records), including with Brodie West
With Eugene Chadbourne
  • 2001: 21 Years Later (Train Kept A Rollin') (Leo Records)
  • 2005: Chad And Han (House Of Chadula)
With Michael Moore
  • 2001: White Widow (Ramboy Recordings), including with Alex Maguire and Mark Helias
With Spring Heel Jack
With Simon Nabatov
With Daniele D'Agaro
  • 2003: Strandjutters (hatOLOGY), including with Ernst Glerum
  • 2010: Fingerprints (Artesuono), including with Alexander von Schlippenbach
With Kenny Millions
  • 2003: Bootleg (Hum Ha Records)
With Kenny Millions
  • 2003: Bootleg (Hum Ha Records)
With Kazuo Imai
  • 2003: Across The Desert (Improvised Music From Japan)
With Rik van Iersel
  • 2005: Transparancy-Wolk No. 3 (Rikordings)
With Guus Janssen
  • 2005: Groet (Data Records)
With Mikko Innanen and Jaak Sooäär
  • 2006: Spring Odyssey (TUM Records)
With Alessandra Patrucco
  • 2006: Circus (Instant Composers Pool), including with Tristan Honsinger, Misha Mengelberg, and Ab Baars
With Mark O'Leary
  • 2008: Television (Ayler Records)
With Keshavan Maslak
  • 2008: Bim Huis Live 1st Set (Hum Ha Records)
With Frode Gjerstad
With Will Holshouser and Michael Moore
  • 2011: Live In NYC (Ramboy Recordings)
With Aki Takase
  • 2011: Two for Two (Intakt Records)
With Armen Nalbandian
  • 2011: Coup de Grace (Blacksmith Brother)
With Eric Boeren
  • 2012: Coconut (De Platenbakkerij), including with Michael Moore and Wilbert de Joode
With Uri Caine
  • 2013: Sonic Boom (816 Music)
With Jaak Sooäär
  • 2013: Beach Party (Barefoot Records)[5]


  1. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p6096
  2. ^ Olderen, Martin van, I'm In The Mood, Linernotes OLCD 7002, 1993
  3. ^ "Han Bennink". EFI.Group.Shef.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Four in One – Misha Mengelberg Quartet | Releases". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
This page was last modified 02.10.2020 00:41:47

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