Millennium Post

‘Tailors think I am a woman’

‘Tailors think I am a woman’
He is often compared to the god of jazz — Miles Davis. But tell that to Holland’s award-winning trumpeteer Eric Vloeimans, who recently performed at Blue Frog, and chances are that he will burst out laughing. ‘I wouldn’t dare to compare myself with Miles Davis. I consider [the comparisons] a big honour,’ he says.

Vloeimans first heard Davis in The Netherlands in 1980s when he was barely 10. ‘He played for two hours and I was so astonished that I wanted to do something like that when I grew up. My answer came with Gatecrash (his other band),’ he says.

This isn’t Vloeimans first tour of India - he had performed at Jazz Utsav in 2009. His performance this time was a balance between old and new songs. Voleimans’ music is a medley of emotions. You can laugh with it, cry, dance or just sit and listen. ‘Gatecrash is a mix of pop and jazz music. It’s kind of adventurous. There are elements of classical and there is also a hymn,’ he points out.

Gatecrash features soundscape master Jeroen van Vliet on Fender rhodes and keyboards, the inventive Gulli Gudmundsson on bass, electric basses and effects, and up-and-coming Jasper van Hulten on drums. Vloeimans expands his trumpet mastery with electronic special effects. The music ranges from lounge music to hardcore uptempo beats and spaced out moods, with Zappa-influenced odd meters.

Vloeimans likes to keep experimenting with his music. ‘I like change. There is nothing as boring as playing the same mood all the time,’ he says. And while the celebrated musician has no idea of the music scene in Delhi, he is quite fond of shopping in the city with his friends. The last time he was here, he got hold of a tailor who made him some good trousers. ‘I like fancy clothes. I look for stage clothing in India because here you can buy fabrics in a riot of wonderful colours. I like to wear colours all mixed up. The tailors think I am crazy, I am a woman,’ he says, laughing.

The trumpeteer claims he has always been in love with the trampolin and the trumpet. ‘I chose them when I had to choose instruments for music school,’ he says. Vloeimans studied classical music at Rotterdam Academy of music and after graduation moved to New York to study further. His first album No Realistics came out in 1992 and since then he has come out with 14 more albums and done countless collaborations with leading musicians. He has also written and performed the music for the film Majesteit (with Fons Merkies) and for the animation film Audition (with Martin Fondse).

Vloeimans says he loves melodies. ‘I am always looking for the right melodies. Sometimes when I am walking on the streets and get something, I am like ‘I have to write this immediately. So I rush back home so that I don’t forget it,’ he says.

Bill Frisell, Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett are some of his favourite musicians. ‘My band has had the privilege to play with people who I know to be the best,’ he announces proudly.
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