Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

488

The Claudia Quintet: Royal Toast

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
With one exception, drummer John Hollenbeck hasn't taken prominent front-cover credit on releases by The Claudia Quintet. This holds true for Royal Toast, the band's extraordinary fifth album. The decision makes sense, for Hollenbeck's labyrinthine compositions get much of their subtlety and force from the individual players that have defined the group's identity from the start.

On Royal Toast, Hollenbeck yields the floor to each of them in turn and so "Ted versus Ted" features accordionist Ted Reichman in a brief double-tracked duet with himself; "Drew with Drew" highlights bassist Drew Gress in the same fashion; "Matt on Matt" gives vibraphonist Matt Moran his turn and "Chris and Chris" features the sparring tenor saxophones of Chris Speed. Of course there's also "Keramag Prelude," a Hollenbeck drum solo and "'Ideal' Intro," an abstract, reverb-soaked meditation by pianist and guest Gary Versace, who expands the quintet to a sextet. Each improvised sketch flows naturally into the dense through-composed track that follows; cleansing the palate and helping listeners digest the music in all its extended brilliance.

Hollenbeck has worked a good deal in chamber and modern classical settings, and his writing for The Claudia Quintet involves a level of multipart detail expected from a new music ensemble like Alarm Will Sound. The key difference is the fitful improvised component, as well as the raw rhythm lurking under every shimmering harmonic texture or contrapuntal flourish, from the slower passages of "Zurn," "Armitage Shanks," and the opening "Crane Merit," to the breakneck assertions of "Keramag," "Paterna Terra" and the title track. For all its clashing asymmetry and constant, baffling change, the music radiates with steadiness and grace.

Track Listing: Crane Merit; Keramag Prelude; Keramag; Paterna Terra; Ted versus Ted; Armitage Shanks; Drew with Drew; Sphinx; Matt on Matt; Zurn; Chris and Chris; Royal Toast; "Ideal" Intro; "Ideal Standard"; American Standard; For Frederick Franck.

Personnel: John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion; Ted Reichman: accordion; Chris Speed: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Matt Moran: vibraphone; Drew Gress: acoustic bass; Gary Versace: piano, accordion (16).

Title: Royal Toast | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Profiles
Interviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Mix of Sun and Clouds

Mix of Sun and Clouds

Yolk Records
2017

buy
Super Petite

Super Petite

Cuneiform Records
2016

buy
J.A.S.S.

J.A.S.S.

Yolk Records
2014

buy
Jass

Jass

Yolk Records
2014

buy
John Hollenbeck: Songs I Like a Lot

John Hollenbeck:...

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy
September

September

Cuneiform Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Honeymoon Album Reviews
Honeymoon
By Karl Ackermann
May 27, 2019
Read Live at Earshot Album Reviews
Live at Earshot
By Paul Rauch
May 27, 2019
Read You're The Star Album Reviews
You're The Star
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
May 27, 2019
Read Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door Album Reviews
Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door
By Mike Jurkovic
May 27, 2019
Read Higher Album Reviews
Higher
By Tyran Grillo
May 26, 2019
Read The Unlonely Raindancer Album Reviews
The Unlonely Raindancer
By Matt Parker
May 26, 2019
Read Pyramid Scheme Album Reviews
Pyramid Scheme
By Mark Sullivan
May 26, 2019