Philippe Elhem on the Kris Wanders Unit @ the « Dambert » October 3-2006

….Kris Wanders's concert was remarkable. He's a really curious character and his story isn't all that far from Henry Grimes's.

Wanders was part of the first wave of European "Free Music," playing with Fred Van Hove, Peter Brötzmann, The Globe Unity and Schlippenbach, then, over thirty years ago, he exiled himself to Australia and rapidly ceased giving any signs of life. Many even thought him dead.

All of a sudden, he reappears out of nowhere, contacts a few people puts together a new band and goes on a European tour! Peter Jacquemyn compared him to Brötzmann ("They're on the same level") and, for this concert at least, he wasn't wrong….

I talked with Wanders – (he speaks very good French.) He's very kind and humble and had the excellent idea of giving me his only recording (made in 2004!). One could easily confuse him with Brötzmann and the album greatly resembles the best of FMP's output, minus any "retro" flavour the music could have had, as the Australian musicians he plays with are young. (...)


(Philippe Elham is an eminent member of the Brussels Free Jazz Gang. He writes for many prestigious French music magazines and is a cinema buff.)



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