Cloudmakers trio
Cloudmakers trio... Dave Smith, above left, Jim Hart, and Michael Janisch
The vibes must be the friendliest instrument. They come with their own invisible halo hanging high over that shimmering haze of sound. And no matter how nastily anyone wants to play them, they always seem somehow approachable. To take the instrument to more abstract places takes effort, motivation and a good deal of thought. In the company of double bassist Michael Janisch and drummer Dave Smith, recording in a London studio over a couple of days last December, vibist Jim Hart on Cloudmakers trio’s Abstract Forces (Whirlwind Recordings, ***1/2) has managed to draw out the many complexities of the instrument on seven of his own knottily absorbing compositions. Beyond a certain impulsive interval-leaping momentum this state-of-the-art modern mainstream vibes trio still manages to provide plenty of light and shade to consolidate their earlier work and begin a tour in the autumn, playing the Albert, Bristol, on 28 September, North Devon Jazz Club in Appledore next day, and St Ives Jazz Club, Cornwall on 30 September. More dates, in London and Sheffield, follow during October.