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Go to the Eric Vloeimans website  Eric Vloeimans - Umai [Challenge Records - 2000]

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Eric Vloeimans is a jazz musician from Rotterdam, Holland. As both a teacher and composer, he is one of the few Dutch jazz artists who have gained an international reputation to be proud of. The press describes him as a trumpet player who puts emotion above technical virtuosity, but he can easily handle the skilful techniques that are needed to create fresh and original jazz music.

After the sensation this Dutch trumpet player had with the previous album "Bitches And Fairy Tales", which won an Edison award at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1999, he toured with the "Transatlantic Quartet" tour in March and April of 2000 with an other cast than he played with on the "Bitches And Fairy Tales" album. Especially for this cast, consisting of John Taylor (piano), Furio Di Castri (bass) and Joe Labarbera (drums), Eric Vloeimans wrote new compositions, and these have now been released under the name of "Umai".

"Umai" consists of 13 compositions and roughly 70 minutes of calm, moody jazz music. Especially Eric Vloeimans himself doesn't really have any sudden eruptions of hard trumpet music, but rather concentrates on relaxing and modest melodies. The rest of the music - bass, drums and piano – is building around his play, of which the piano of John Taylor is most impressive. Clear and well deliberate, you can hear that John Taylor is a highly skilled musician. I like the parts with only the trumpet and piano the best, because these two instruments show a great contrast but yet keep in harmony, which creates this "emotional" feeling. But that doesn't mean that the bass and percussion don't fit on this disc. They complete the picture, yet I don't feel that these instruments are really necessary.

This album is in the same line as the successful "Bitches And Fairy Tales", Eric Vloeimans' previous international release. Maybe his compositions are somewhat more abstract and leave more to the imagination of the listener, which I think is only a good thing. He has a great style of play, and this is what a look for in jazz music: not concentrating too much on playing as technical as possible but to create peaceful, touching melodies. It might takes some time to get into, but in the end I can certainly recommend this album.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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