Lucid Culture


Concert Review: Eric Vloeimans and Florian Weber at the Stone, NYC 6/9/09

Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans and German pianist Florian Weber treated a warmly receptive, full house to a fascinating, tuneful show that managed to be both cutting-edge and rich with jazz classicism. Vloeimans does not limit himself to his instrument’s traditional tones: while showing off both soaring clarity and a burred, rustic attack, he would frequently open a piece seemingly almost without embouchure (the pursed-lips position inside a horn’s mouthpiece) for a breathy, sax-like timbre. In places, it was as if there was a musical steampipe in the band. Likewise, Weber would frequently go inside the piano and judiciously pluck the strings for a banjo-like tone. On their last song, he went so far as to take off the newsboy cap he’d been wearing throughout the show, placed it inside on top of the strings and used it as mute, adding an impressive dynamic range to his plucking: this hat trick may be a standard part of his act.

Their first number worked the theme of a popular Indian folksong with often hypnotic shades of trumpet while Weber chose his spots to add incisive, minimalistic plucked notes. By contrast, a vintage Dave Brubeck tune got a glistening, gently crescendoing treatment, Vloeimans showing off some purist blues chops. They brought up drummer Ziv Ravitz, who would stick around for the rest of the show, launching into what Vloeimans said was a response to Buena Vista Social Club, clattering along with seemingly every bit of metal on the drum kit put to use while piano and trumpet shifted the groove to tango swing.

A beautifully lyrical, balmy trumpet tune with absolutely gorgeous, vintage 70s art-rock piano inflections (Rick Davies of Supertramp in particularly heartwrenching mode comes to mind) was followed by an effectively comedic number titled Bradshaw, inspired, said Vloeimans, by the sight of a bizarre-looking utility vehicle in an airport terminal. It was all about incongruity, and the band brought it all out with numerous amusingly jarring stylistic nonsequiturs, the drummer hamming it up with the most four-on-the-floor beat the club had probably ever seen while Vloeimans swung overhead, seemingly oblivious. They closed with a piece titled Fatima, not a Middle Eastern dance but a big, soulful, trad ballad, Vloeimans finally cutting loose and letting its crescendos ring out for all they were worth.


June 10, 2009 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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