With their uncompromising approach, Cloudmakers Trio effortlessly marry the complex with accessibility, the improvised with composed, and showcase original music that lies somewhere between New York’s downtown sound and the modern European tradition. As a result their music defies easy category yet draws influence from a diverse range of traditions, featuring the under-exploited format of the vibraphone trio. While pushing the boundaries of what can be done with this instrumentation they remain devoted to in the moment risk taking, a deep groove and strong melodies.
Under the leadership of the award-winning multi-instrumentalist Jim Hart (a founding member of the Loop Collective), Cloudmakers Trio represents the culmination of over a decade of musical growth between three of the finest musicians currently working on the international jazz, improvised and alternative music scenes. Drummer and fellow Loop member Dave Smith is known for his experimental approach as well as a deep knowledge of West African music that has seen him work with the likes of Robert Plant and Hilmar Jensen as well as being the creative drive behind Outhouse Ruhabi and Fofoulah. Michael Janisch underpins the group with his virtuosic and driving bass playing that has led him to work with some of the world’s most notable visionaries, from co-led bands with Lee Konitz and Greg Osby to performances with Quincy Jones, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Joe Lovano to name a few.
Having performed as a trio for many touring projects and collaborations over the years, the Cloudmakers got together with iconic trumpeter and composer Ralph Alessi in 2010 to record their first album Live at the Pizza Express. This critically-acclaimed project was followed by a few years of regular touring, honing their band sound and developing all new repertoire, resulting in their second album Abstract Forces which was released in September 2014. Their new sound effortlessly blends everything from free improvisation to full on rock, hard swing mixed with subtly complex rhythms, and plaintive melodies cascading over dense harmonies.