All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

108

The Claudia Quintet: For

Tom Greenland By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
The Claudia Quintet: For It's a challenge to describe the Claudia Quintet's sound: there are patent references, but distinct departures from these references as well. For, their newest project on Cuneiform, reunites Drew Gress (bass), John Hollenbeck (drums and electronica), Matt Moran (vibes), Ted Reichman (accordion) and Chris Speed (clarinet and tenor sax), continuing a trajectory established on three previous releases.

Hollenbeck's nuanced part-writing fully exploits the tonal similarities of the frontline (clarinet, vibes & accordion); tracks like "Be Happy, "This Too Shall Pass, "Rug Boy and "Peanut Vendor Mash-up are replete with seamless blends and subtle variations that oblige close listening to determine who's playing what. Elsewhere, these voices interweave with the democratic freedom of a Beethoven string quartet; the interplay on "Peanut Vendor and "August 5th, 2006 is less like a typical parade of solos, more like a circle of hacky-sack players working together to keep the bag aloft; the beginning of "Rug Boy is free improvisation, but the result is much the same. There is also a nod to the minimalist figurations of Philip Glass and others; "August and "Be Happy have concentric looping themes that twist and turn in on themselves like musical möbius strips.

The drummer-composer's hand is felt in the preponderance of odd time signatures and asymmetrical phrase lengths that, for all their mathematical complexity—and to Hollenbeck's credit—seem to roll effortlessly off the snare drum. In a slight departure, "For You adds a series of concept words ("Tree...True...Blue...Reach... ) spoken erratically over a prepared electronic tape, metallic percussion, a deep bass drone, and single droplets of vibraphone. In sum, the Claudia Quintet seems to champion process over product, its collective individuality stemming not so much from what is played, but because of how it's played.


Track Listing: I'm So Fickin' Cool; August 5th, 2006; Be Happy; This Too Shall Pass; Rug Boy; For You; Rainy Days/Peanut Vendor Mash-up; Three Odes: Admiration, Nostalgia, Pity.

Personnel: Drew Gress: acoustic bass; John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion, electronic tape preparation; Matt Moran: vibraphone, vocals/lyrics; Ted Reichman: accordian; Chris Speed: clarinet, tenor saxophone.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
September
September
Cuneiform Records
2013
buy
What Is The Beautiful?
What Is The Beautiful?
Cuneiform Records
2012
buy
What Is the Beautiful?
What Is the Beautiful?
Cuneiform Records
2011
buy
For
For
Cuneiform Records
2007
buy
Semi-Formal
Semi-Formal
Cuneiform Records
2006
buy
Semi-Formal
Semi-Formal
Cuneiform Records
2005
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau
piano
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Vijay Iyer Vijay Iyer
piano
The Bad Plus The Bad Plus
band/orchestra
Archie Shepp Archie Shepp
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.