Among the early Western european free of charge jazz bassists of take note, Altena first found the eye of American viewers via alto saxophonist Marion Brown’s 1967 record Porto Novo (the record also featured Dutch drummer Han Bennink). Altena researched music on the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam from 1961-1967. His initial recording was manufactured in 1967 as an associate of saxophonist Theo Loevendie’s jazz group (Loevendie eventually embarked on a far more successful career being a composer of traditional works). Within the ’60s and ’70s, Altena used soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, saxophonist/composer Willem Breuker, pianist Guus Janssen, and guitarist Derek Bailey. Altena participated in lots of of Bailey’s Business projects through the ’70s. From the middle-’70s, Altena proved helpful more frequently being a head, recording mainly for his very own Claxon label. Besides leading his very own ensembles, Altena in addition has worked extensively being a soloist. Lately, Altena’s more significant collaborators possess included drummer Gerry Hemingway, trombonist Walter Wierbos, percussionist Paul Lovens, and bassist Peter Kowald, to mention just a few. Furthermore to his many self-produced albums, Altena in addition has documented for the hatArt, Bimhuis, and Splasc(h) brands, among others.