THE CLAUDIA QUINTET

21st Century Modern / Third Stream / Avant-Garde Jazz • United States
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The brainchild of percussionist John Hollenbeck, the Claudia Quintet has navigated the boundary lines between free jazz, contemporary composition, progressive rock and electronica so successfully that its output is virtually uncategorizable. For, the aptly titled fourth album from the ceaselessly inventive group, offers a slight departure from its last record.

Semi-Formal (Cuneiform, 2005), used brief minimalist interludes to segue from one tune to another, much like a suite. Less conceptually arranged, this album is comprised of a varied selection of tributes, with Hollenbeck dedicating each tune to a personal inspiration.

Hollenbeck is joined by the regular Claudia line-up of clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, accordionist Ted Reichman, vibraphonist Matt Moran and bassist Drew Gress. Alternating jovial melodies and captivating rhythms with bittersweet lyricism and somber reflection, the acoustic quintet spins otherworldly sonic tapestries that occasionally mimic electronic effects.

A Claudia first, "For You," uses prepared electronic tape and sporadic spoken word to paint a
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Super PetiteSuper Petite
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$13.53
$6.79 (used)
SeptemberSeptember
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$13.67
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I, ClaudiaI, Claudia
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
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ForFor
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$9.49
$7.98 (used)
Semi-FormalSemi-Formal
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$7.96
$2.48 (used)
For by The Claudia Quintet (2007-06-05)For by The Claudia Quintet (2007-06-05)
CUNEIFORM
$34.78
September by The Claudia Quintet (2013-09-24)September by The Claudia Quintet (2013-09-24)
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$43.11
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THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Discography

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET albums / top albums

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET The Claudia Quintet album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Claudia Quintet
21st Century Modern 2002
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET I, Claudia album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
I, Claudia
21st Century Modern 2004
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Semi-Formal album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Semi-Formal
21st Century Modern 2005
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET For album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
For
21st Century Modern 2007
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Royal Toast album cover 4.40 | 6 ratings
Royal Toast
21st Century Modern 2010
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET What Is the Beautiful? (featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
What Is the Beautiful? (featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann)
Third Stream 2011
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET September album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
September
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Super Petite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Super Petite
21st Century Modern 2016

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THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Reviews

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Royal Toast

Album · 2010 · 21st Century Modern
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SaltyJon
Royal Toast has been one of my favorite discoveries this year. Upon reading about the Claudia Quintet on Wayside Music, I was intrigued by their descriptions, so I ordered the band's latest album. What I got was a thoroughly pleasing mix of modern jazz and bits of chamber music sound. The group's core lineup has remained the same throughout the many years they've been recording, but on this album they were joined by pianist Gary Versace. He's been collaborating with Hollenbeck for quite a while now, playing with him in his Large Ensemble and other groups, and Hollenbeck has said that "what he plays is exactly what I would I be doing if I could play piano really well." This really plays to the advantage of the group, and he fits in so naturally that if I didn't know better I'd say he's been with the group for years.

The music on the album was mostly composed by Hollenbeck, and so it's all very rhythmically complex. The group manages to maintain this complexity without detracting from the listenability of the album. I really like the style of music on display here. It's both melodic and based on the various rhythmic ideas present in the different pieces. One of the most unique things about this album is the short interlude pieces "Ted vs. Ted", "Drew with Drew", "Matt On Matt", and "Chris and Chris". On these pieces, the musician in the title was asked to improvise a duet with himself, an experiment which worked out very well in my opinion. The musicians didn't even know that the pieces would be played together, and each line was recorded separately. Along with these experimental duets, the rest of the tracks are some incredible avant-jazzy compositions sure to please slightly adventurous listeners, and quite possibly beyond. It always manages to get my toes tapping along to the beat (though my feet sometimes get lost in the shuffle).

This album should have something for just about everyone, and as far as avant-jazz goes, it's really not all that "out there." This is easily one of my favorite albums from 2010, and I have no hesitation in giving it the full five stars.

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