Live Review: Cloudmakers Five at The Verdict
The Verdict, Brighton
Friday 12th January, 2018
Formed eight years ago, Jim Hart’s Cloudmakers Five, originally a trio but extended with saxophone and guitar, have so far released four albums to critical acclaim, mostly due to Jim Hart’s artful compositions and an enviable chemistry between the musicians in the band, all of whom are accomplished in their own right.
Beginning with the ethereal sounds of The Past In Another Country, the tune transformed from controlled chaos during George Crowley’s saxophone solo, to a vibraphone solo from Jim Hart that evoked feelings of intense yearning.
Other pieces from the first set included the polyrhythmic Ghanaian influenced title track of his latest album, Traveling Pulse, the moody ballad Golden, written as a lullaby for his young son, and the combination of Ornithology and All The Things You Are in the tune And Another Thing.
Vibraphonist Jim Hart expertly adds colours to his compositions by writing specifically for the musicians and creating his own timbres from the vibraphone, by changing the softness of his mallets to bowing the bars with small bows made from coat hangers.
For the second set they began with The Road (for Ed) that began with an inspired drum solo from Dave Smith before moving on to other tunes from the new album such as The Exchange and Hart’s dedication to the late pianist John Taylor, Cycle Song. The final tune of the second set illustrated Hart’s mastery of pedalling with a hypnotic introduction to his tune Back Home. For an encore the trio of Hart, Janisch and Smith performed one of their most grooving pieces, Angular Momentum from the 2014 album Abstract Forces.
Jim Hart, vibraphone; George Crowley, tenor saxophone; Hannes Riepler, guitar; Michael Janisch, double bass; Dave Smith, drums.
[Photo of Cloudmakers Five by Lisa Wormsley]