The Claudia Quintet: September (2013)
The musicians also venture into avant impressionistic formats, noticeably evident on the cleverly patterned "29th 1936 Me Warn You," where they propagate a faintly bizarre musical score for a 1936 Franklin Delano Roosevelt speech on political partisan trickery. FDR's words are occasionally looped as the band shades and mimic his oration into a thematic incursion that rings like a pseudo- documentary. Moreover, new band member, accordionist Red Wierenga and vibraphonist Matt Moran instill dabs of grave sentiment into the off-kilter contours.
The musicians build upon harmonically appealing ostinato vamps atop straight-four grooves and odd-metered structures that give way to intense dialogues or layered choruses offset by succinct detours and tuneful counter-maneuvers. Several works offer mind- bending or hypnotic subplots embedded with loosely organized dissections. On "18th Lemons," they launch a spirited rock pulse, leading to impromptu exchanges between the soloists. And they regenerate matters into an ominous and slower-paced rock pattern, packed with noise-shaping treatments and Chris Speed's oscillating sax lines.
Alternating moods and a bit of psychological nourishment is enacted during "12th Coping Song," where Speed's dark clarinet linestactfully highlighted with a trace of reverbride above Moran and Wierenga's ostinato as Hollenbeck paints a gentle rhythmic background via his brushwork. Essentially, the music projects imagery of a situational analysis and closes on a quiet note. Indeed, September is a production that imparts another testament to their enduring resilience and idiosyncratic representation of the jazz vernacular. (Passionately recommended....)
Track Listing: 20th Soterius Lakshmi; 9th Wayne Phases; 25th Somber Blanket; 22nd Love Is Its Own Eternity; 18th Lemons; 17th Loop Piece; 24th Interval Dig; 16th Mystic Klang; 12th Coping Song.
Personnel: John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion; Red Wierenga: accordion; Chris Speed: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Matt Moran: vibraphone; Drew Gress: acoustic bass; (1, 4, 7-10); Chris Tordini: acoustic bass (2-3, 5-6).
Record Label: Cuneiform Records