Eric Vloeimans and his group Gatecrash, put on an amazing and mesmerizing performance at The Seattle Art Museum as the first week of the Earshot Jazz Festival opens. The stellar Dutchman’s Gatecrash chain-links lazy lounge, hard-core beats, spaced-out moods and Zappaesque meters.
Eric Vloeimans has joined the ranks of European jazzmen altering the art form with a mixture of dazzling skill and soaring imagination. Whether performing original compositions or making use of a wide variety of others’, he draws from a rich palette to achieve a distinctive personal style, at once sonically polished and stylistically daring. That, and also technically dazzling. Those attributes have won him numerous Dutch and European awards, including the prestigious Bird Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival and four Edison Awards for accomplishment in jazz performance and recording.
“He’s got the technical command you’d expect of a conservatory-trained virtuoso, and the kind of expressive potency that can only be learned on the improvising bandstand, but what’s most impressive about his music is that it’s so deliciously good-natured,” wrote Alex Varty of Vancouver’s Georgia Straight.
Vloeimans’ Gatecrash quartet is winning rave reviews for its “lush, exuberant melody,” and its “warm, plaintive, sometimes soaring, sometimes contemplative” sound – “one part jazz, one part late-19th-century Romanticism, with influences from the pampas of Argentina to the Portuguese coast.”
It derives those qualities from locked-in intuitive cooperation among its four members – Vloeimans, soundscapist Jeroen van Vliet on keyboards, Gulli Gudmundsson from Iceland on bass and effects, and emerging drum star Jasper van Hulten – all of whom inflect the band’s sound with surprise. Reviewers have cited Gatecrash’s “polished, sophisticated, under-the-radar music, exceptionally conceived and played,” and its leader’s “melodic style evocative of late-period Miles Davis.” The results are “breathable, seriously unpretentious, fun, beautiful, profound and just plain good” (All About Jazz).
– Peter Monaghan