Eric Vloeimans

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Heavensabove! Review

by Michael G. Nastos

The name of Eric Vloeimans' group Gatecrash reflects a sentiment more than an attitude, as he states in the liner notes that music for him is not about a varied series of styles. While there are more atmospheric concepts present, full-bore, in-your-face retro-fusion is where the trumpeter hangs his hat, enhanced by effects and electronics, and punctuated by the ever-present Fender Rhodes piano of Jeroen Van Vliet. This is something relatively new for Vloeimans, who certainly is an established voice in the modern mainstream of jazz, but on this recording takes it to a different level. "Maceo" (for Maceo Parker) is a good example of how Vloeimans conceives combining straight funk with his electric-phased and looped trumpet, while "The Milkman" is even more hopped up, yet tuneful. Mixing Miles Davis and Mahavishnu Orchestra metaphors, "Pedal to the Metal" is not so much bursting like a musical drag race as it is screaming out in an amped-up, funky '70s mood. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's the meditative "Orbits," ten minutes of Van Vliet's "Snow," and the less-than-two minute "Hymn from Snow," or the ritual, low-key tones of "Mr. Selcuk." Gatecrash also offers two improvised tracks that are loose and floating, or use jagged edges, but it's mostly a program of space outs or static keyboard riffs with the trumpeter cruising overhead. There's a lot to enjoy here with little or no gray area, music specifically for the youth audience not attuned to bop per se, while baby boomers who grew up on jazz-rock can also appreciate what Vloeimans is laying down.

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