One of the early European free jazz bassists of note, Altena first came to the attention of American audiences via alto saxophonist Marion Brown's 1967 album Porto Novo (the album also featured Dutch drummer Han Bennink). Altena studied music at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam from 1961-1967. His first recording was made in 1967 as a member of saxophonist Theo Loevendie's jazz group (Loevendie subsequently embarked on a more successful career as a composer of classical works). In the '60s and '70s, Altena played with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, saxophonist/composer Willem Breuker, pianist Guus Janssen, and guitarist Derek Bailey. Altena participated in many of Bailey's Company projects during the '70s. Beginning in the mid-'70s, Altena worked more frequently as a leader, recording mostly for his own Claxon label. Besides leading his own ensembles, Altena has also worked extensively as a soloist. In recent years, Altena's more notable collaborators have included drummer Gerry Hemingway, trombonist Walter Wierbos, percussionist Paul Lovens, and bassist Peter Kowald, to name only a few. In addition to his many self-produced albums, Altena has also recorded for the hatArt, Bimhuis, and Splasc(h) labels, among others. ~ Chris Kelsey, Rovi

Top Tracks
Maarten Altena Octet - Rottum
Maarten Altena
Maarten Altena - Thursday Night
maarten altena – prikkel (1989)
Maarten Altena and Teo Joling (1)
maarten altena – seven short pieces for string quartet (2015)
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