Unlike most jazz drummers — even those that lead their own band — Han Bennink is a force unto himself, playing in his own inimitable way regardless of who’s alongside him.
Audiences in Tokyo will get to experience this for themselves next month when he plays as part of four different units during a three-night residency at Nishi-Azabu’s SuperDeluxe venue.
Watching the founding member of the all- improvisational music collective Instant Composers Pool behind the kit is akin to opening a heavily shaken can of soda. Making music (or often just plain noise) with regular instruments and, indeed, any existing object on stage, the 65-year-old Dutchman’s free-jazz performances create a sonic experience that fizzes with excitement and has few formal predecessors, unless you count street performers who like to bash buckets.
The first of Bennink’s three shows will see him joined by Minutemen/Stooges bassist Mike Watt, bassist Kramer and drummer Samm Bennett. Having two veteran, multifaceted drummers play alongside each other will be one of the highlights of this tour.
Bennink then plays with two quartets on the same night, both featuring pianist Shuichi Chino and bass player Nobuyoshi Ino.
In the earlier performance, this trio will be joined by saxophonist Akira Sakata; for the second he will joined by guitarist Kazuo Imai, whose improvisational approach to his instrument mirrors that of Bennink.
For the finale, Bennink will perform in a highly caustic quartet, featuring Rovo bassist/sometime film composer Seiichi Yamamoto, Masayasu Tzboguchi on piano/effects and, on vocals, noise-artist Keiji Haino, who has been terrorizing audiences for more than three decades.
Han Bennink plays Feb. 8-10 at SuperDeluxe, Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. All shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are ¥3,000 in advance, ¥3,500 at the door, (minimum one-drink order). For more information, call the venue at (03) 5412-0515 or visit their Web site at www.super-deluxe.com