Paul Lovens

Photograph copyright Bernard Werth

Born in Aachen, Germany, 6 June 1949; Drums, percussion, musical saw, etc.

Paul Lovens played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improvisor on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, among whom have included the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton. He has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries, is a founder member of a musician's cooperative and has produced recordings for his own label, Po Torch Records since 1976. He has worked with painter Herbert Bardenheuer. Despite very rare solo performances, and although giving occasional concerts with ad-hoc groups and an involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, Paul Lovens' main interest and work is musical improvisation in fixed small groups. In the mid-1990s these small groups numbered around 16, of which a few were part of a special selection, called 'vermögen'.

Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf bagatellen, Nothing to read, Pakistani pomade, and ,stranger than love.

Further information

Blackford, Chris (1991), Paul Lovens: percussion, Rubberneck, no. 9, pp. 8-10.

Cook, Richard (1986). The inclined sticks: Paul Lovens and Paul Lytton, The Wire, no. 34/35, (December/January), pp. 32-34.

Whitehead, Kevin (1994). 1994 du Maurier Ltd International Jazz Festival Vancouver, Coda, no. 258, (November/December), pp. 34-35. Within this overall review of the festival there is a photograph and a column describing some of the methods Lovens uses to gain his unique sound; very good and involving writing.


1970, Globe Unity 67 & 70, Atavistic/Unheard Music Series. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1970, Remembering '70, JG Records JG24/25. One piece on side 3 of Schippenbach Trio consisting of AvS/Michael Pilz/Paul Lovens. Thanks to Udo Sawinksi for the information.
1972, First recordings, Trost TR132.
1972, Pakistani pomade, FMP 110. Schlippenbach Trio.
1972, Pakistani pomade, UMS/ALP240CD. CD reissue of FMP 110 with bonus tracks.
1972, For example, FMP R123. Two part track of Schlippenbach Trio on commemorative/compilation 3LP set.
1972, Peter Kowald Quintet, FMP 0070.
1973, For example, FMP R123. One Globe Unity track on commemorative/compilation 3LP set.
1973, Ramifications, Ogun OG 500.
1973, Live in Wuppertal, FMP 0160. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1974, Inside-outside reflections, Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP255CD. Dieter Scherf Trio.
1974, Hamburg '74, FMP 0650/Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP248CD. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1974/75, Three nails left, FMP 0210. Schlippenbach Quartet with Peter Kowald.
1975, Hunting the snake, UMS/ALP213CD. Schlippenbach Quartet with Peter Kowald.
1975, Carpathes, FMP 0250. Pilz/Kowald/Lovens.
1975, Baden-Baden '75, FMP CD 137. Globe Unity Orchestra + Guests.
1975/1976, Jahrmarkt/Local fair, Po Torch PTR/JWD 2. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1975/77, At Quartier Latin, FMP CD 140. Schlippenbach Quartet: CD issue of part of Three nails left plus most of The hidden peak.
1976, Voerkel/Frey/Lovens, FMP 0340.
1976/1977, Paul Rutherford/Paul Lovens, Po Torch PTR/JWD 3.
1977, The hidden peak, FMP 0410. Schlippenbach Quartet with Peter Kowald.
1977, Was it me?, Po Torch PTR/JWD 1.
1978, Moinho de asneira/A cerca da bela vista a graca, Po Torch PTR/JWD 5.
1978, Circadian rhythm, Incus 33.
1979, Weavers, Po Torch Records PTR/JWD 7. Trio of Günter Christmann/Paul Lovens/Maarten Altena.
1979, Idylle und katastrophen, Po Torch Records PTR/JWD 6.
1980, Vario II, Moers Music 01084.
1980, Pisa 1980: improvisors' symposium, Incus 37 (LP)/psi 04.03/4 (CD).
1980, The last supper, Po Torch PTR/JWD 9. Duo with Toshinori Kondo.
1980, Temple of the ancient magical presence, FMRCD78-0301. Frank Perry; one trio of Perry/Lytton/Lovens.
1980/1981, The fetch, Po Torch PTR/JWD 8.
1981 Detto fra di noi, Po Torch PTR/JWD 10&11.
1981, Das hohe lied, Po Torch PTR/JWD 16&17.
1981, Der traum der roten palme, FMP 0950. Duo with Martin Theurer.
1982, Anticlockwise, FMP 1020. Schlippenbach Quartet with Alan Silva.
1982?, Kaizo Inoue, Trio. Inoue/Christmann/Lovens.
1982, Death is our eternal friend, IMA 002/DIW1109 (LP); DIW 455 (CD).
1983, Option Abdullah, Jazzgalerie Nicklesdorf. Schlippenbach Trio track on compilation CD.
1983/1985, Vario, Moers Music 02048. Five pieces on Vario LP.
1984, ,stranger than love, Po Torch PTR/JWD 12. Duo with Schlippenbach.
1984, Live at Taktlos, Intakt CD 001/Intakt LP 001. On one trio track with Irèe Schweizer/Joëlle Léandre.
1987, Ikkkunan takana [Behind the window], Bead 26. Quintet Moderne.
1988, Regalia FMP CD 3. Duo with Cecil Taylor.
1989, The strange and the commonplace, Po Torch PTR/JWD 19S. Quintet Moderne.
1989, News from the shed, Acta 4.
1989, News from the shed, Emanem 4121. Re-issue of Acta 4 with additional material.
1989, Goldberg, Po Torch PTR/JWD 15. Duo with Urs Voerkel.
1990, Elf bagatellen, FMP CD 27.
1990, Unlike, Splasc(h) CD H 309.2 With Mario Schiano/Jean-Marc Montera and Maarten Altena.
1990/1991, Nothing to read, Blue Tower BRCD03.
1991, Telefonia - a transatlantic performance: selected soundscape no. 2, For 4 Ears CD 408.
1991, Physics, FMP CD 50.
1991, Company 91 volume 1, Incus CD 16.
1991, Company 91 volume 2, Incus CD 17.
1991, Company 91 volume 3, Incus CD 18.
1991/1992, Choice-chase, Intakt CD 032. Wittwer/Schütz/Lovens.
1992, Sometimes crosswise, Moers 02094 CD. Günter Christmann.
1992, Musiques pour répondeurs & standards téléphoniques, NS 01.
1992, Mouth eating trees and related activities, Okka Disk OD12010. Gustafsson/Guy/Lovens.
1992, Broken shadow, Vand'Oeuvre 9304. One track on compilation CD.
1992, In actu, Po Torch Records PTR/JWD 22. Music and painting with Günter Christmann.
1992, Meetings, Splasc(h). Mario Schiano.
1993, Vario-34, Edition Explico exp 05/Blue Tower Records BTCD 06.
1993, The arrow of time, Ano Kato Record 2005. Floros Floridis; one track a trio with J-M Montera & Paul Lovens.
1994, 50th birthday concert, Leo CD LR 212/213.
1994, The Vandoeuvre concert, FMP CD 72. September Band: Carl/Hirsch/Lovens/Reichel.
1994, Looking at flees with Henry Geldzahler, FMP MJ 01. September Band one track on compilation.
1994, TR!O, FMP CD 136. Christmann/Gustafsson/Lovens.
1996, Social security Victo cd043. Mario Schiano.
1996, Patrizio Victo cd046. Duo with Eugene Chadbourne.
1996, Live in Japan '96, DIW-922. Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.
1997, The cricket in my life Leo Records CD LR 256. Track with Eugene Chadbourne's Insect and Western.
1997, Hellington Country Intakt CD 052. Eugene Chadbourne.
1997, Orka hatOLOGY 524. Duos with Rejesh Mehta.
1997/98, Three concerts per a A.T., Edition Explico 08. Three tracks with Christmann/Gustafsson.
1998, * water writes always in * plural, Concepts of doing 004. Vario 34-2.
1998, WIM Radiodays, stv/asm 001. Duo with Urs Voerkel on compilation CD.
1998, Propinquity Zwischenzeitstück Aria, Intakt CD 057. Duos with Urs Voerkel.
1998, Complete combustion, FMP CD 106.
1998, Swinging the BIM, FMP CD 114/15.
1999, Joëlle Léandre Project, Leo LR CD287.
1999, Young at heart/Forgiven, Leo LR CD293/294. Eugene Chadbourne: Me and Paul.
1999, Quicksand, Meniscus MNSCS 007. Frank Gratkowski/Georg Gräwe/Paul Lovens.
1999, 2X3=5, Leo CD LR 305. Parker/Guy/Lytton + Schlippenbach Trio.
2000, Achtung, GROB 537. Lehn/Lovens duo.
2001, Madly you, Potlatch P102. Lazro/Léandre/Zingaro/Lovens.
2001, Total Music Meeting 2001: Audiology - 11 groups live in Berlin, A/L/L002. On two tracks on this compilation CD.
2001, Trumpet madness, Leo CD LR 423. Aardvark Jazz Orchestra.
2001, Wellsprings suite, Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1176. Quintet Moderne.
2002, PaPaJo, Emanem 4076. Lovens/Hubweber/Edwards.
2002, Mix your languages, Ramboy #19. RASP/HASP.
2002, Globe Unity 2002, Intakt CD 086. Globe Unity Orchestra.
2002, Total Music Meeting 2002 - Audiology II, a/l/l 006. Compilation CD of 11 groups live in Berlin.
2002, Compression: live at Total Music Meeting 2002, a/l/l 011.
2002, Broomriding, psi 03.05. Schlippenbach/Mahall/Honsinger/Lovens.
2003, Plays Fats Waller, Enja CD 9152. Aki Takase.
2003, These six, SOFA 512. Ivar Grydeland/Tonny Kluften/Paul Lovens.
2003, November Music 2003, November Music NM 007. Tobias Delius group track on compilation CD.
2004/5, Winterreise, psi 06.10. Schlippenbach Trio.
2005, At the Le Mans Jazz Festival, Leo LR CD458/459. Joëlle Léandre.
2005, Spin networks, psi 07.05. fORCH.
2005, Equals, psi 08.02. FURT plus.
2006, #1, Evil Rabbit Records ERR 03. Play station 6.
2006, Free zone Appleby 2006, psi 07.04. Philipp Wachsmann/Rudi Mahall/Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlilppenbach/Evan Parker/Paul Rutherford/Paul Lovens.
2006, Globe Unity - 40 years, Intakt CD 133.
2007, Gold is where you find it, Intakt CD 143. Schlippenbach Trio.
2009, Bauhaus Dessau, Intakt CD 183. Schlippenbach Trio.
2011, Live at Banlieue Bleue, NoBusiness Records NBCD51. Sudo Quartet.
2011, QUAT: live at Hasselt, NoBusiness Records NBCD54. Vandeweyer/Van Hove/Lovens/Blume.
2012, Spukhafte Fernwirkung, Treader TRD020. fORCH/FURT.
2013, Features, Intakt CD 250. Schlippenbach Trio.
2013, Live 2013, FMR Records FMRCD407-0116. Keune/Lovens.

Acknowledgements mp3 clips Bibliography Home page
Distributors and Retail outlets Full text articles/interviews Links to related sites
Non-European improvisors OrganisationsScope of this site
Upcoming concertsVideo clips What's new