|Cloudmakers Five at Eastside Jazz Club|
Photo credit: jazz student Cameron James Aitken
(Eastside Jazz Club, The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, 11 January 2018.
Review by Tony Dudley-Evans)
The Cloudmakers Five group is all about textures and group interaction. The original trio of Jim Hart on vibes, Michael Janisch on double bass and Dave Smith on drums created some beautiful interactive music, but the addition of a tenor saxophone, George Crowley on this gig but to be Robin Fincker on some of the later dates, and Hannes Riepler on guitar, created a different feeling and some very distinctive textures.
Playing the first date of an extensive tour launching a new album, Travelling Pulse, due out on Whirlwind Records in February, the quintet focussed on a set of originals written by Jim Hart.
The material ranged in the first set from the opening up tempo The Past Is Another Country, to Travelling Somewhere, inspired by a similar rhythmic pattern Hart had noted in both Ghanaian percussion and Marius Neset’s music. An Eric Satie-inspired piece, Golden, was a feature for a strong guitar solo from Riepler to which Crowley added some beautiful textures on clarinet. And Another Thing, a tune that combined elements of the standard All The Things You Are and Charlie Parker’s Ornithology, featured a forceful Janisch bass solo. The set also included one jazz standard, Thelonious Monk’s Epistrophe, and it was interesting to note how well a Monk tune fitted into the mood of the set.
The second set featured rather more solo work with Hart’s vibes to the fore supported by Smith’s always inventive drum accompaniment and Janisch’s strong bass lines.
The band created an excellent atmosphere in the new Eastside Jazz Club, based in the new Conservatoire building. The audience, largely consisting of students on the jazz course, clearly loved the energy and interactive nature of the music.
LINKS: Full details of the Cloudmakers Five tour
11 Jan – Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, England
12 Jan – Verdict Jazz, Brighton, England
16 Jan – Lille Ole Bull, Bergen, Norway
17 Jan – The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland
18 Jan – Jazz at The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, Scotland
20 Jan – Vortex Jazz Club, London
20 Jan – Wells Cathedral School, England
23 Jan – Crane Lane, Cork, Ireland
25 Jan – The Bonington, Nottingham, England
16 March – Les Dominicains, Alsace, France
Details of the new album. The saxophonist on the album is Antonin-Tri Hoang.