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 London’s 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 greats: Quincy Jones, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ingrid Jensen 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.  February 2018 will see the band release their new extended FIVE lineup, more info on that here.

Press Highlights

“London-based Cloudmakers Trio shakes up everything in sight on its second release. Abstract Forces further highlights the group’s exceptional vibraphone-bass-drums telepathy… draws from such diverse musical worlds—including free-jazz, funk, electronic experimentation, pure swing and unbridled improvisation… their music is not only impossible to resist, but gets better with repeated plays.”
4 Stars, Downbeat Magazine

“Jim Hart is the master of the vibraphone’s metal bars, and conjures from it the most colorful of sound waves. The album is sophisticated and dynamic and although extremely energetic and rhythmically tricky, there is never a lyrical moment missing on this CD in anyway. Both poetry and power are elegantly balanced.” (Abstract Forces review)
Sound and Image (DE)

“It’s one of the most exciting and persuasive jazz albums to have come out of the UK’s recording studios so far this year.” (Abstract Forces review)
4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine

“Hart has a positive genius for rhythmic hide-and-seek. His improvised lines grab your attention and won’t let go, no matter how many tricky corners he gets into. There’s no mistaking the musicianship and phenomenal togetherness of all three.”
4 Stars, The Observer

Hart is being aligned with an emerging set of exciting, forward-looking contemporary vibraphonists such as New York’s Chris Dingman, Matt Moran, and Chicagoean Jason Adasiewicz. Hart’s new rhythm trio is certainly going to be one for the future. The American London-resident double bassist Michael Janisch and drummer Dave Smith combine with Hart in an assuredly airtight yet elasticized trio.”
Jazzwise  Magazine

“The Cloudmakers Trio brings together three of the most inventive players on the UK scene.”
All About Jazz