Han Bennink


Born 1942 in Zaandam, Holland; drums, clarinets, soprano saxophone, miscellaneous.

Han Bennink's father was a percussionist in a symphony orchestra who also played clarinet and tenor saxophone; when Bennink was a teenager he used to accompany his father on the drums and then played in his dance bands. He became enthused with jazz listening to records and watching visiting US musicians in Europe and then went to America in 1960 playing on a boat of the Holland- America line, just to spend time in New York and take in as much as possible: Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Sonny Clark, Steve Lacy. This love of jazz led Bennink to play with many visiting US musicians (e.g. Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy) but he proved particularly important in the formative years of European free improvisation in Holland. It was not long before the pioneers in England, Holland and Germany came together and many of the early records feature varied combinations of these key players, Bennink generally in the thick of it all. His position is well indicated by Steve Beresford when, in his notes for his CD Fish of the week, he says 'Fish and bicycles are the third and fourth things that come to mind when I think of Holland. (The first and second are pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink)'.

Bennink is well known for an unconventional approach to his kit but also for using anything that comes to hand as a sound- or rhythm-generating source, for example a pizza box in his duo with Eugene Chadbourne. He told Corbett (1994): 'I don't need any more enormous drum kit or bells or gongs or whatever sort of shit. I find something here and there behind the stage. Canadian stages are very clean, so there's nothing to find, but yesterday I found some strings, a cardboard box, and a piece of wood. They are more interesting to me sound-wise than many other things because sounds are everywhere and it depends on what context you put them in. When I play on something, it's still playing with two sticks, so I just let the audience hear the difference between how the drum kit sounds or a garbage can, piece of junk, or whatever. That's the idea.'

His longest association is with Misha Mengelberg but he also spent 12 years playing with Peter Brötzmann, initially in the trio with Fred Van Hove and finally as a duo. His association with Derek Bailey is reasonably well documented but his extensive discography indicates he has played with most of the first generation of European free players, several of the second generation, for example, Steve Beresford, US and European jazz and jazz-based musicians and the punk band The Ex. His most recent 'long-running' group is the Clusone Trio with Michael Moore and Ernst Reijseger (which at times has included a variety of special guests) as well as a trio with Ray Anderson and Christy Doran and a duo with trumpeter Dave Douglas.

He trained as a graphic artist and has exhibited work in several media, including sculptures from found objects that can include broken drum heads and drumsticks; he also designs many of his own LP and CD sleeves (including the recent Serpentine on the Songlines label.

Han Bennink formed ICP Records with Misha Mengelberg though he insisted to John Corbett that 'Compared to Derek, Misha and I are amateurs'.


1963, Trio Tony Vos, MMP 2001EP.
1964, Epistrophy, ICP 015. Eric Dolphy, Misha Mengelberg, Jacques Schols, Han Bennink.
1964, Last date, Fontana 681008ZL/EmArCy 510124-2. Eric Dolphy/Misha Mengelberg/Jacques Schols/Han Bennink.
1964/1966, Driekusman total loss, Varajazz 210. Misha Mengelberg Quartet featuring Gary Peacock.
1965, Vara Radio 1965, Varajazz 8219. Wes Montgomery/Clark Terry.
1966, Lover, come swing with me, Philips 6550 10XPL. Paul Ruys.
1966, The Misja Mengelberg Quartet as heard at the Newport Jazz Festival, Artone MGOS 9467.
1966, Rita Reys and Rob de Nijs with the PIm Jacobs Combo, Philips 3335 19JF.
1966, Music for his films, BVHaast 015 LP. Johan Van Der Keuken/Willem Breuker.
1966, Music for his films 1967/1994, BVHaast CD 9709/9710. Johan Van Der Keuken/Willem Breuker.
1967, The Stork Town Dixie Kids, Polydor 236155.
1967, New Acoustic Swing Duo, ICP 001. Duo with Willem Breuker.
1967, Porto Novo, Arista/Freedom AL 1001. Marion Brown and Maarten van Regteren Altena.
1968, Instant Composers Pool, ICP 002. With John Tchicai and Misha Mengelberg.
1968, Machine gun, FMP CD24. Actually the Peter Brötzmann Octet, formed and recorded before the trio was formed but comprising the three members and stylistically connected to the trios music.
1968/1970, Fuck de Boere, UMS/ALP211CD. Peter Brötzmann Nonet/Group.
1968/1969, Instant Composers Pool, ICP 007/008. With Willem Breuker, Willem van Manen, Peter Bennink, Rob du Bois.
1968, Requiem for Che Guevara, MPS 15205.
1968/1969, Live in Paradiso, Heavy Soul Music HSM 1501. Heavy Soul Inc: Hans Dulfer/Willem van Manen/Maarten van Regteren Altena/Han Bennink.
1969, Live at Amsterdam Paradiso, Affinity AFF 2/Affinity 751 CD. Dexter Gordon.
1969, Nipples, Calig CAL 30604/UMS/ALP205CD.
1969, More Nipples, UMS/ALP236CD. Brötzmann Quartet + Sextet
1969, Instant Composers Pool, ICP 004. Duo with Derek Bailey.
1969, Opera: Reconstructie/Reconstruction A Morality, Steim 113 612/613/614. Louis Andriessen.
1969, European echoes, FMP 0010/UMS/ALP232CD. Manfred Schoof.
1969, The living music, FMP 0100/UMS/ALP231CD. Alex von Schlippenbach group.
1969, Live at Paradiso, Heavy Soul Music HSM 1502. J. R. Montrose.
1970, Instant Composers Pool, ICP 005. With John Tchicai, Misha Mengelberg and Derek Bailey.
1970, Balls, FMP 0020.
1970, Balls, UMS/ALP233CD. Includes two previously unreleased tracks.
1970, Born free, Scout Records ScS 11. One track on festival album.
1970, Groupcomposing, ICP 006.
1970, The topography of the lungs, Incus 1.
1970, Globe Unity 67 & 70, Atavistic/Unheard Music Series. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1971, Mengelberg Bennink ICP 010.
1971, Dual unity, Freedom 32JDF-181. Paul Bley/Annette Peacock.
1971, Improvisie, America 30 AM 6121. Paul Bley.
1971, International New Jazz Meeting auf Burg Altena, JG Records JG 027/028S. Includes one track of the Peter Brötzmann Trio.
1971, Orient, Byg YX4012/3/Get Back GET2010. Don Cherry.
1971, The Berlin concert, FMP CD34/35. Peter Brötzmann Trio with Albert Mangelsdorff.
1971, Patterns, LP: Sun SR108/CD: Eremite MTE 019. Noah Howard.
1971, Actions, Philips 6305 153. Don Cherry/The New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra.
1971, Actions, Intuition INT 3606-2. Don Cherry/Krzysztof Penderecki. CD issue of previous item.
1971/1972, Solo, ICP 011.
1972, Woyzeck, Entr'acte CD 2. Willem Breuker.
1972, For example, FMP R123. One track of Peter Brötzmann Trio with Albert Mangelsdorff on commemorative/compilation 3LP set.
1972, Selections from live performances at Verity's Place, Incus 9.
1972, Een mirakelse tocht door het Scharrebroekse ICP 013. Duo with Misha Mengelberg released on 6 flexidiscs.
1972, Free jazz und kinder, FMP S1/2.
1973, Brötzmann, van Hove, Bennink, FMP 0130.
1973, Einheitsfrontlied, FMP S 3. Brötzmann, van Hove, Bennink
1973, Nerve beats, UMS/ALP202CD. Solo.
1973/1974, Coincidents ICP 018. Mengelberg Bennink.
1973, Altissimo Philips Rj-5102/West Wind 0019. Lee Konitz/Gary Bartz/Jackie McLean/P Danielsson/J Kühn/Matiano/Han Bennink.
1973, Baal, Brecht, Breuker, Handke & Rit over het bodenmeer, BVHaast 003/CD 9006.
1974, René Thomas/Thomas Pelzer Limited, Vogel 003 S.
1974, Sideways, Roaratorio roar01. Steve Lacy.
1974, Outspan no. 1, FMP 0180. With Albert Mangelsdorff.
1974, Outspan no. 2, FMP 0200. Including 01.49 of Backstreet girl by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard
1974, Einepartietischtennis ICP 014/FMP SAJ-03. Mengelberg Bennink.
1974, Hamburg '74, FMP 0650/Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP248CD. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1974, Lumps, ICP 016. Steve Lacy.
1975, Tschus, FMP 0230. Brötzmann, van Hove, Bennink
1975, Coincidents ICP 017/018. Mengelberg Bennink.
1976, Unlawful noise, KGB 7076. Haazz & Company/Kees Hazevoet.
1976, Unlawful noise, UMS/ALP219CD. Kees Hazevoet/Haazz & Company.
1976, Company 3 Incus 25.
1977, Company 6, Incus 29.
1977, Company 7, Incus 30.
1977, Ein halber hund kann nicht pinkeln, FMP 0420.
1977, Schwarzwaldfahrt, FMP 0440.
1977, ICP Tentet in Berlin FMP SAJ-23.
1977, For example, FMP R123. One track of ICP-Tentet on commemorative/compilation 3LP set.
1977, Midwoud 77 ICP 013. Duo with Misha Mengelberg.
1977, Tetterettet ICP 020. Instant Composers Pool Tentet.
1978, A European proposal Horo HPD 35-36. With Misha Mengelberg, Paul Rutherford, Mario Schiano.
1978, Yi yole ICP 021. With Dudu Pukwana and Misha Mengelberg.
1978, Solo West/East FMP SAJ-21.
1978, Calling down the Flevo spirit, Snipe 7678. Duo with Kees Hazevoet.
1979, 3 points and a mountain, FMP 0670. With Peter Brötzmann and Misha Mengelberg.
1979, 3 points and a mountain... plus, FMP CD 107. With Peter Brötzmann and Misha Mengelberg.
1979, Live Soncino ICP 022/adLIB 811. ICP Orchestra.
1979, Humanplexity Leo Records LR 101. Keshavan Maskak.
1979/1980/1981, Bennink Mengelberg ICP 023.
1980, Taiming Hummeloord Records nr. 1. With Ernst Reijseger and Michael Moore.
1980, Jazz Bunker, Golden Years of New Jazz GY 7/8. With Eugene Chadbourne and Toshinori Kondo.
1980, Atsugi concert, GuA-Bungue GBLP 3381.01. Duo with Peter Brötzmann.
1981, Heavy days are here again BVHaast 037/UMS/ALP207CD. Leo Cuypers.
1981, Corners Varajazz VCD 003-2. Leo Cuypers Trio.
1981, Irène's Hot Four FMP OWN-90007/9. Two tracks on Rüdiger Carl compilation CD.
1982, Tempo comodo Data 823. Solo.
1982, Japan Japon IMA 1/ICP 024/DIW 1014. Misha Mengelberg and ICP Orchestra.
1982, Regeneration Soul Note SN1054. Roswell Rudd, with Steve Lacy, Misha Mengelberg and Kent Carter.
1983, Down South VARAJAZZ 4213/Ogun HMCD. Harry Miller Quintet, with Mark Charig, Wolter Wierbos, Sean Bergin.
1983, Friendship Charlie Records CR 30225. The Blues Bastards.
1983, In Jazzbühne Berlin '83 Amiga 856035. Duo with Conrad Bauer.
1984, Two programs ICP 025 (cassette). ICP Orchestra.
1984, Change of season Soul Note SN 1104. Misha Mengelberg, George Lewis, Steve Lacy, Arjen Gorter.
1984, Sendai Sjors + Sjendai Sjimmie jazz & Now 2. New Acoustic Swing Duo: Bennink/Breuker.
1984, Tropic of the mounted sea chicken Splasc(h) HP 05. Minafra, Mengelberg plus orchestra.
1984/1986, Two programs: Herbie Nichols/Thelonius Monk, ICP 026. ICP Orchestra.
1986, Concert for eyes BVHaast 065. Teo Joling.
1986, Nol 1 unnumbered cassette. Gijs van Dijk Quintet.
1986, Han Incus CD 02.
1986, Two programs ICP 026. ICP Orchestra.
1986/90/91, Bospaadje konijnehol I, ICP 028. ICP Orchestra.
1987, Kids mysteries, Nimbus NS502C. Sean Bergin and M.O.B.
1987, Directly to pyjamas, nato 1330 (LP)/777 727 (CD). Duo with Steve Beresford.
1987, Dutch masters, Soul Note 121154. With Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, George Lewis and Ernst Reijseger.
1987, October meeting 2, Bimhuis 002.
1987, Kids mysteries, Nimbus Records NS502C. Sean Bergin and M.O.B.
1987, Bootleg hum ha #00. Duo with Kenny Millions.
1988, Spots, circles and fantasy FMP CD 5. Duo with Cecil Taylor.
1988, Olie en water FMP 1260. Duo with Peter Kowald.
1988, Diepe spoeren FMP CD21. Duo with Peter Kowald.
1988, Alms/Tiergarten (Spree) FMP CD 8/9. Cecil Taylor European Orchestra.
1988, L'extraordinaire jardin de Charles Trenet, Chabada OH23. Steve Beresford.
1988/1989, Blues ahead, Timeless SJP 356. Joe van Enkhuizen.
1989, Soft on the inside, Antilles 842927. Andy Shepherd.
1990, Solo, ICP 027 (video).
1990, Major step, Timeless CD SJP 364. Major Holley and the Joe van Enkhuizen quartet with Rein de Graaff, Han Bennink.
1990, Boogie with the hook, Leo LR 242. Two duos with Eugene Chadbourne.
1990, Noci...Strani frutti, Leo CD LR176. With Pino Minafra and Ernst Reijseger.
1990/91, Bospaadje konijnehol II, ICP 029. ICP Orchestra.
1990/1991, Clusone 3, Ramboy 01.
1991, 6.4, EX 6.4. The Ex and guests.
1991, The Ex and guests, Slates 1. Video of The Ex and guests from the Bimhuis 29/06/91.
1991, October Meeting 1991: 3 Quartets, Bimhuis 003. Han on two quartets.
1992, Vol pour Sydney (aller), nato 53001. Duo with Steve Beresford on Sydney Bechet compilation album.
1992, MiHa, ICP 031. Duo with Misha Mengelberg.
1992/1994, Stone, brick, glass, wood, wire, IDA 014. With Fred Frith large group.
1993, AngelicA 93, CAICAI 004. Solo plus other combinations.
1993, Conduction 28/Conduction 31, New World Records 80484. Lawrence D. 'Butch' Morris.
1993, Conduction 31/Conduction 35/Conduction 36, New World Records 80485. Lawrence D. 'Butch' Morris.
1993, I am an Indian, Ramboy 05/Gramavision GCD 79505. Trio Clusone.
1993, Anthony Braxton's Charlie Parker Project, hat ART CD 2-6160/hatOLOGY 2-612.
1993, Soft lights and sweet music, hat ART CD 6153. Clusone 3.
1993, Wie beim Falb die Kuckucksuhr tickt, so tickt sie nirgendwo, Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf. Trio Clusone track on compilation CD.
1994, Eleven ghosts, hatOLOGY 507. Duo with Myra Melford.
1994, Azurety, hat ART CD 6155. With Ray Anderson and Christy Doran.
1994, Cheer up, hat ART CD 6175. With Ray Anderson and Christy Doran.
1994, Music for his films 1967/1994, BVHaast CD 9709/9710. Willem Breuker/Johan Van Der Keuken.
1995, Instant, EX 063/064D. The Ex and guests.
1995, Carmen, EFA CD 20125 (Label Bleu). Enrico Rava.
1995, Irène Schweizer & Han Bennink, Intakt CD010.
1996, Serpentine, Songlines SGL 1510. Duo with Dave Douglas.
1996, Love Henry, Gramavision GCD 79517. Clusone 3.
1996, 3, Via jazz 992.029.2. 3: Bennink/Borstlap/Glerum.
1997, MiHa, ICP 031. Duo with Misha Mengelberg.
1997, The heron, ICP 033. Tobias Delius 4 Tet.
1997, Rara avis, hatOLOGY 523. Clusone 3.
1997, Jubilee varia, hatOLOGY 528. ICP Orchestra.
1998, Bellagram, GeestGrondenCd GG 18. Cor Fuhler.
1998, Dissonant characters, hatOLOGY 534. Duo with Ellery Eskelin.
1998, An hour with..., hatOLOGY 554. Clusone 3.
1997/9, Joy of a toy, BVHaast CD 9907. Eric Boeren 4tet.
1999, Copy cat, BVHaast CD 9917. Sean Bergin's MOB.
1999, Post improvisation 1: when we're smiling, Incus CD 34. Duo with Derek Bailey.
1999, Post improvisation 2: air mail special, Incus CD 35. Duo with Derek Bailey.
1999, Toby's mloby, ICP 034. Tobias Delius 4 Tet.
2000?, Solo, ICP 035. Solo video.
2000, The laughing owl, TERP Improv IS-03. Duo with Terrie Ex.
2000, B + B (in Edam), ICP 037. Beresford/Bennink duo.
2000, 21 years later, Leo LR CD 324. Chadbourne/Bennink duo.
2000, Four in one, Songlines SGL SA1535-5. Misha Mengelberg Quartet.
2000, The grass is greener, psi 02.02. Han Bennink/Evan Parker duo.
2000, Festival Beyond Innocence: 4 1999-2000, Innocent Records FBI 105. One trio track on compilation CD.
2001, White widow, Ramboy 16. Moore/Maguire/Helias/Bennink.
2001, Soft nose, BVHaast CD 1501. Eric Boeren 4tet.
2001, Oh my dog!, ICP 040. ICP Orchestra.
2001, Pelikanismus, ICP 039. Tobias Delius 4 Tet.
2001?, Miss Ann, Ecstatic Yod E#81. 7" single duo with Chadbourne.
2001, Variations on a master plan, Leo Records CD LR 371. Conference call.
2001, Chat room, Leo Records CD LR 378. Duo with Simon Nabatov.
2002, Strandjutters, hatOLOGY 590. D'Agaro/Glerum/Bennink.
2002, Across the desert, Improvised Music from Japan IMJ-514. Duo with Kazuo Imai.
2002, Improvised music from Japan 2004, Improvised Music from Japan IMJ-304. Duo with Kazuo Imai: one track on compilation CD.
2002?, AMaSSED, Thirsty Ear THI57123.2. Spring Heel Jack.
2003, Live, Thirsty Ear THI57130.2. Spring Heel Jack.
2003, Aan & Uit, ICP 042. ICP Orchestra.
2003, Pica Pica, ICP 041. Mary Oliver/Thomas Lehn/Han Bennink.
2004, Still quite popular after all those years, BRÖ 4. Brötzmann/Bennink duo.

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