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Hyper by Eric Vloeimans Gatecrash

I first became aware of Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans back in 1999 when I received a review copy of his critically praised album Bitches and Fairy Tales, featuring revered artists John Taylor (piano), Marc Johnson (bass) and Joey Baron (drums). Nonetheless, it’s a high-impact venture marked by the trumpeter’s golden-toned phrasings and shrewd penchant for dynamics. And when considering the solid compositional frameworks, the overall program translated into a sure-fired winner. Now on this date with his band Gatecrash, Vloeimans is captured live at a Rotterdam venue where he merges modern jazz with jazz-rock and ethereal overtones.

Again, the trumpeter excels as a multifarious musician amid his quartet’s capacious approach. The musicians’ sympathetic interactions spawn a series of budding undercurrents marked with a sense of mystery. "Prince of Darkness" alludes to Miles Davis which is a piece driven by an easy-going band demeanor in concert with Vloeimans’ sleek muted horn lines and Jeroen van Vliet’s dark synth voicings. The keyboardist’s slightly distorted Fender Rhodes work during "Hyper," serves as a formidable layer for the hornist’s boldly enacted choruses, spiced with an anthem-like hook. Then the band opens it up via a buoyant and pumped-up groove.

The piece titled "Ravens and Wolves," sounds like a backdrop for an Edgar Allen Poe tome. With Vloeiman’s harrowing echo-heavy notes set against spacey EFX, the quartet generates lucid imagery of ominous circumstances. As the trumpeter tempers the overall mood with soft horns, while Gulli Gudmundsson’s supple bass solo adds a vibe that conveys loneliness. In sum, it’s a superbly balanced live set that beckons repeated spins.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Eric Vloeimans Gatecrash
  • CD Title: Hyper
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Challenge Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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