DULFER is beyond introduction in most European countries, where BIG BOY hit the album charts during 1994-1995. In his home country The Netherlands ne also reached the Top-10 singles chart with the hard hitting Streetbeats. In Japan Mickey Mouth was the hit single of the album, endearing him to a huge audience that had no clue as to what type of act 'Dulfer' was.
Mid-1995 Dulfer made his first concert tour in Japan, where at the time he was hot with the single Hyperbeat, his first GOLD record and as such a milestone in his career. Dutch television followed him around, gasping at the pace of this 'monster of jazz' (also the name of the EMI sub-label Dulfer is on). To the amazement of his fans and sheer panic of his Japanese bodyguards, Dulfer personally shook everybody's hand after the gig. He made a lasting impression on his young, pop oriented audience.
In his own country Dulfer has already impressed several generations of audacious music lovers, and still does. He has fronted many bands, known several artistic ups and downs and paid his dues.
Born May 26, 1940, in Amsterdam, Hans Duller touched his first TENOR SAXOPHONE in the mid-fifties. Behind this choice was his strong belief that the tenor was the most powerful, widest ranging instrument around at the time. To see a parallel with one side of the man's character, is not far from the point. Notorious big sound tenor players like Ike Quebec and Big Jay McNeeley are among his heroes, their stage acts the pure and powerful examples of the kind of showmanship Dulfer adored and adopted for himself.
At seventeen Dulfer embarked on a musical career that stretches itself to this very day. Jazz was his first love and it will be his fast. Mind you, not the dull cocktail jazz of established tastes, but its grassroots mentality of social comment in music. This, as Dulfer likes to spell out, is not limited to a specific historical period, but an eternal truth about jazz. Along the way Dulfer picked up just about anything that was musically hip -he even tuned in to punk attitudes only to find out that he had been a punk at heart all his life. His bands HEAVY SOUL INC. and REFLUD (DULFER spelled backwards), were notorious in clubland. Many top musicians in their own right now, have played in one or two of Duffer's bands. In turn, Dulfer contributed to national top bands In ffrefaxz, rock and blues field. International stars regard him as their friend.
Dayjobbing was a bare necessity for a jazz musician who supports a family of three. Slowly but surely though Dulfer reached the point where he could wave goodbye to his longtime occupation of selling cars - a job in which ho excelled to the point of twice winning the national GM Car Seller Award. In 1990 he was appointed general director of the famous rock venue PARADISO (the continental home of the ROLLING STONES and DAVID BOWIE) in Amsterdam. Here he instituted club nights for the hip hop and jazzdance scenes, a futuristic approach for a rock club. In the same year his formation of the group TOUGH TENORS caused an uproar all over the country for its loudness and its often unpredictable output. Dulfer just LOVES his reputation.
His work as a BAND LEADER and NATIONAL NIGHTTIME RADIO DEEJAY completely absorbed him after leaving the alien world of club management. Dulfer was on his way to be a well respected member of the musical establishment. The board of the North Sea Jazz Festival gave him the prestigious BIRD AWARD in 1993 to mark his outstanding contributions to jazz life in Holland. He could have retired on his highest jazz note.
Instinctively however he rescued himself from the danger of slowly fading away. He gave his musical career a decisive injection, abandoning his onetime vow never to record again. BIG BOY was the result of this NEW DIRECTION. Hi all started rolling from there.
Notorious. Utterly unconventional. A Living Legend. Hans Dulfer loves to push the limits of acceptable mid-life behaviour a little bit far. This has made him the darling of jazz- and pop refugees alike. He is not one to go with the flow. Call it a way of life. Holland's 'eternal teenager 'is an amazing Story toiler. Name a jazz great and Dulfer knows something nobody knows. Name a type of music and Dulfer will tell you how to evaluate it historically. 'Never let the truth get in the way of a good story' is his motto.
The building of his own legend is high on his agenda, if he would have one. Where the legendary Hans Brinker used his finger to Stop the menacing water, Hans Dulfer pulls the plug. Witnesses to his wild stage performances can never really grasp the effect it has on them. The mysterious side of the process of making music, is a constant inspiration for Duffer. He gives credit where credit is due: the jazz heritage and the rock'n'roll attitude. For him they're branches of the same tree.
'Don't put your head above the mowing field,' is a well known saying that it abundantly used in Holland. Dulfer has always defied this socalled wisdom, while petty criticism never stopped haunting his daring steps. His sense of humor, deeply rooted in Amsterdam folkways, guides him through the snake pit with virtuosity.
Legends in the making thrive on exaggeration antd bold self exposure, keepjng themselves far from the writing of factual history. Characteristically Hans Dulfer is his own man, resisting the pressure of predictability. In 1993 he refused to be included in a photography book of Dutch Rock Heroes. He is the only one who has been bitterly missed from its pages, and he knew it. To him it was more special to be missed than to be in the company of many.
Dulfer is often narrowly pinned down by critics as a 'big mouth', a street fighter and someone who refuses to be his age. In fact, he also is a lovely person, even shy at times, always the first to praise other people's musical abolities to the full. Because of his being around for quite some time, he combines the beat of many worlds and is the country's main inspirational figure for starting musicians. He has toured constantly and there are few people who have not at least seen Dulfer once. His cry to take an in dependent ataifece is heard by many, in and outside the music world.
At the same time, it is difficult, not to say impossible, to quote this language twister in unmistakeable oneliners. He loves to be contradictory, knowing everything in life is relative, especially success. Just hours after touchdown from Japan, its screaming crowds and full houses, he was playing deep jazz for a small, mature audience in an off-off club at the outskirts of Holland. And genuinely enjoying both extremes of the basic experience of making music.
Biography written by Lutgard Mutsaers for EMI Records