On The Spot (2014)

Vloeimans, Hekkema, Veenendaal, Rossi, Davis, de Heredia, Azmeh, de Visee


For a classical ensemble, improvisation is by no means an everyday pursuit. Yet during its 28-year history, Calefax Reed Quintet has repeatedly yielded to the temptation of extemporaneous performance. This often took place in the context of a pre-existing form, style or musical convention, and usually to a modest degree, for instance as part of a larger composition.

Calefax, rooted in the eight centuries of music history from which it draws its concert repertoire, is well aware that music, as a rule, is the end result of improvisation and is often notated solely as a favor to the music-reading player. The desire inherent in the group’s past and present goal – to dissect and then reconstruct existing music – has resulted in the countless arrangements the group has performed the world over for nearly three decades.

Each of the members is thus not only a performing but a creative artist as well, qualities that also define an improviser. Calefax underscores the importance of continuously exploring the link between these two styles of music-making. This has led to the music on this album - On the Spot.

A survey of music history shows that composers from distinctly disparate periods and locales had surprisingly similar goals in mind. Arranging music for an essentially fixed instrumentation has more than once brought musical parallels to the fore that otherwise might have gone unnoticed. In doing so, the quintet has created a practice for the playing, playful musician with befriended composers from all places and all times.

Perhaps this is most applicable to the trumpeter Eric Vloeimans. While he is otherwise difficult to categorize, Vloeimans, with his well-nigh vocal playing style, is undoubtedly the ideal person to guide five classical musicians in the world of improvisation. Along the way he also showed a hunger for the wealth of classical music, willingly allowing members of the quintet in turn to lead him, without sacrificing any of his own uniqueness.

Kinan Azmeh and Albert van Veenendaal both composed works especially for the marriage of these two types of musicians. Additionally, Ivar Berix and Raaf Hekkema were given free rein to delve into the extensive oeuvre of Eric Vloeimans.

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Eric Vloeimans

Eric Vloeimans (Huizen, 1963) is an improvising trumpeter and composer who regards the term ‘jazz’ as too limiting to describe his music. His work is characterized by melodic and lyrical power, and a distinctive, individual sound that is called velvety or whispering in the more subdued pieces.

Between 1982 and 1988, Vloeimans studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory; classical trumpet at first, later the jazz course. In 1989 he took lessons in the US with Donald Byrd and formed part of the big bands of Frank Foster and Mercer Ellington.

In the early Nineties Vloeimans was regarded as a member of a younger generation of musicians who combine bebop with influences from rock and free improvisation, such as Michie  Borstlap, Benjamin Herman and Yuri Honing. In 1998, the Edison-winning Bitches and Fairy Tales was released, recorded with pianist John Taylor, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron. Taylor is also featured on Umai from 2000. In 2001, Vloeimans won the coveted Boy Edgar Prize, and in 2001 the Bird Award of the North Sea Jazz Festival. The CD’s VoizNoiz 3 (with Michel Banabila, 2003), Summersault (with Fugimundi, 2006) and Gatecrashin’ (with Gatecrash, 2007) were also awarded Edisons. In addition, Eric was recipient of the Elly Ameling Prize as well as the Golden Nutcracker (2011)

From 2006/2007 Eric Vloeimans has been active with two much-praised formations: the chamber jazz trio Fugimundi (Anton Goudsmit guitar, Harmen Fraanje piano) and the electric band Gatecrash, in which rock and funk elements can be traced (Jeroen van Vliet keyboards, Gulli Gudmundsson bass, Jasper van Hulten drums). With the latter group, he employs electronic effects in his trumpet playing for the first time  In addition, he continues to develop other projects, such as the band Oliver’s Cinema with accordion player Tuur Florizoone and cellist Jörg Brinkmann (CD available from August 2013, and a US tour in October 2014) , and a duo with pianist Florian Weber, with a CD release: Live at the Concertgebouw in 2011.

His broad range of interests has led Vloeimans to collaborate with artists from other musical worlds. In the pop music area, these include Fay Lovsky, Doe Maar, Spinvis and trumpeter Kyteman (Colin Benders). Kytecrash, the combination of the latter’s hip-hop band and Gatecrash, resulted in successful performances and a CD in 2011. He will be performing a series of concerts with British classical pianist Joanna MacGregor in the winter of 2013/2014.

Where world music is concerned, Vloeimans was involved in projects with flamenco guitarist Eric Vaarzon Morel, Latin pianist Ramon Valle, and the fado-inspired Pessoa of Fernando Lameirinhas.



Five passionate wind players. Virtuoso musicians and brilliant arrangers. The creators of a completely new genre: the reed quintet. They are a source of inspiration to a fresh generation reed players that follows in their footsteps. A classical ensemble with a pop mentality: meet Calefax.
“Calefax - five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet.”– The Times –

The repertoire of Calefax spans many centuries of music. They breathe new life into classical chamber music by arranging it themselves to fit their own unique reed quintet line up: oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon. Next to that, approximately two hundred original works have by now been written especially for Calefax by composers from all over the world.

The group publishes sheet music of their own arrangements for reed quintet under the name Calefax Edition, so that they play a pioneering role and put this new genre on the map. All over the world new reed quintets are springing up, following Calefax’ example; from Argentine to New-Zealand. By offering master classes and workshops at conservatories and universities, Calefax passes its specific methods and musical experience on to the next generations.
The group also collaborates with celebrated fellow musicians from the classical music, jazz and world music scene, and with artists from other disciplines, such as choreographers and animators.

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On The Spot (2014)

Vloeimans, Hekkema, Veenendaal, Rossi, Davis, de Heredia, Azmeh, de Visee


    HRAudio.net -

As they approach the 30 year-mark as an ensemble, Calefax raise their instruments in celebration of the expressive sound of the reed.

Mark Werlin[read full review]

    Draai om je oren

Zijn solo is smaakvol, puur en bezwerend.


Artikel over de uitzending van vroege vogels en een aankondiging voor het nieuwe album


Al met al een verrassend album met een jazzy en licht klassiek geluid.


De muzikale samenwerking geeft hier vorm aan een niet alledaagse synergie tussen jazz en traditionale thema's. Fascinerend om naar te luisteren zeker in de mutlichannel vorm


De als altijd vanzelfsprekende zingende trompet van Vloeimans voegt zich perfect naar de hechte samenklank en virtuositeit van Calefax. Een Cd die in elke noot verteld waar het bij musiceren werkelijk om gaat.


Op On The Spot is veelzijdigheid een troef waarbij het kwintet en Vloeiman's elkaar uitdagen en versterken


Het beste van twee werelden komt samen in elf stukken. ' On the spot' is een prachtige samensmelting van klassieke klanken en stijlvolle improvisaties.


De veelzijdigheid van het repertoire van Calefax, plus natuurlijk de bezetting met talloze mogelijkheden, krijgt een enorm verrijkende impuls met de aanwezigheid van Eric Vloeimans.

On The Spot (2014)

Vloeimans, Hekkema, Veenendaal, Rossi, Davis, de Heredia, Azmeh, de Visee


Cables: Siltech Mono Crystal
Digital Converters: dCS
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Mastering Equipment: Avalon Acoustic
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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ZZ76106: On The Spot
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The Third One -Tirza
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Toccata Settima
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Solo Di Tromba nr. 7
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Blue in Green
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"Mal de Terre "
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de Heredia
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