Born in 1947, Hollander Jasper van’t Hof is one of the best known jazz pianists and keyboardists in Europe. Van’t Hof first made a name for his work with guitarist Toto Blanke, and went on to form Porkpie with jazz greats Charlie Mariano, Jean-Franois Jenny Clark, and Aldo Romano. Jasper has recorded with such major names as Archie Shepp, Steve Swallow, and Steve Kühn. He is especially noted for his solo piano work and his highly successful world music group Pili Pili. With its Euro-African mix of jazz, rock, and pop, the group has been a mainstay on the World Music scene from its founding in 1985 through the present, and has been a stepping-stone for the careers of such African pop icons as Angélique Kidjo.
On However, van’t Hof has assembled a trio of American jazz/fusion giants, Bob Malach (sax), John Lee (bass), and Alphonse Mouzon (drums) as his partners. However builds on a statuesque melody and liquid synth lines. Poobi’s extra-terrestrial images morph into rolling rock rhythms under a majestic theme and slashing solos by van’t Hof and Malach. A Four Way Boogie dances its way through a blistering keyboard solo before a funk-laden theme saunters onto the scene. Lucas T.E.E. Again is a repetitive bit of whirlwind counterpoint – Steve Reich gone fusion. The duo Bobby Dee – Bobby Dee borrows a bit of country and a two-chord piano backup as Malach sings out a bluesy sax solo that slides directly into the second section, van’t Hof’s impressionistic piano solo, then back to the two chord riff and a beautiful unison melody to end it all. Definitely worth the ride, no “howevers” about it.