14. Hans Dulfer – My great source of inspiration

Hans Dulfer is a living legend in the Netherlands. He's a jazz tenor saxofonist who plays all years through in pubs, halls and on many festivals. And he is, indeed, the father of alto saxophonist Candy Dulfer. I learned a lot from him, and used that in my own playing, teaching and the developing of this method. His style is rather rough I would say.

Before I 'really' started making music, I once followed a short Jazz workshop by Hans Dulfer. I learned a lot and still remember much from that occasion . His respect for all participants and his enthusiastic way of explaining how you can enjoy making music together. The end result (especially with such a short workshop) doesn't always matter; the new insights and fun are the most important. And my idea about the sax battle phenomenon, which is a part of my method, was born from that experience. This is my anecdote about that encounter:

The workshop was on a Sunday afternoon in the Dutch town Eindhoven, above a famous Jazz Cafe, where we had our presentation the next evening.
It's been quite a while, but what I never will forget was what happened when Hans Dulfer started challenging me during an improvisation. We took turns playing four bars each, and that was great fun. I didn't need to put in any effort at all; everything went very natural. I didn't have time to think, so I reacted intuitively to what I just heard. They call that a sax battle, when you challenge each other and turn it into a kind of fight.
And the pub was turned upside down because something clearly spontaneous and exciting happened on stage.

Years later, my auditive improvisation exercises more or less evolved out of this. I more often started to improvise alternately with my students. Also in workshops that I gave. I give a push and they respond to it, so I inspire them to play on their feeling, intuitively. I deliberately do not provide information, to prevent them from thinking.

Music theoretical knowledge is absolutely not necessary but, okay, it can be an addition. But only if you already have a reasonable understanding of the theory and know how to apply it; so when you don't have to think much about it anymore while playing, because otherwise you block again. My method is really meant to (learn to) play and improvise by feel and on intuition; and that suits most of the wind blowers.

Many years later I played one evening with Hans Dulfer in a pub in town. We were accompanied by a few experienced musicians from the region, with whom I did a rehearsal before that gig. During the jam, Hans and I took care of the blowing violence, both on tenor sax. I saved a few recordings of that night.

This is a battle from the first jam of that night:

And this is a piece of mine, Jeffrey's Tune, that was new to Hans.

And a jazz standard: Well you needn't:

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