Eric Vloeimans Gatecrash
This is what electric jazz aspires to, or, at, least should. Reminiscent of early Weather Report or Herbie Hancock’s electronic sextet that featured Eddie Henderson, Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans leads his band through a live set of originals that encompasses early ’70s fusion, Euro-fusion and acid jazz. And for the most part, he succeeds.
At its most outré – as on the track “Bonzi” – the band loses coherence, despite some engaging riffs. And certain compositions could use judicious editing. “Ravens and Wolves,” for example, lacks momentum for much of its nearly 11 minutes. Regardless, there’s far more to enjoy than criticize.
The opening “Magnolia” sets the tone, with an insistent cymbal rhythm and electric piano providing the basis for Vloeimans’ trumpet before keyboardist Jeroen van Vliet takes an extended solo. Vloeimans’ own solo sounds effortless and gains resonance from Echoplex effects. The lengthy title tune allows the band to stretch out, and then, in the middle of the piece, reinvent it at double time, adding plenty of electronics. “Piccolo David” features some of Vloeimans’ best blowing – liquid phrases Echoplexed against themselves, while the rhythm section provides firm support. The brief “Voix Du Fou,” which concludes the disc, finds Vloeimans channeling Chet Baker or Jon Hassell against a sparse electronic background.
Despite occasional misses, when Vloeimans’ reach exceeds his grasp, Hyper presents one of the freshest takes on electronic jazz in some time. From its enthusiastic reaction, the audience it was recorded in front of apparently agrees.
- Ross Boissoneau