The Claudia Quintet is proof positive that the pessimists were wrong: jazz is not dead, despite being embalmed by major labels and confined by some musicians to dead ends. In the works of this sensational NY-based, 'jazz and beyond' ensemble, jazz has broken through its rigid shell and been reborn in shimmering and beautifully alluring new form. It lives and breathes in music that melds influences from classical minimalism, new music composition, and progressive and post-rock with an astonishingly fresh jazz sensibility.
Whatever one wants to call their music, it has very striking original, unique and attractive qualities. This is a slowly unfolding album; group leader/drummer/composer John Hollenbeck has specifically stated that this album is "...a 'listener's record' - a record that might not make perfect sense when individual tracks are listened to randomly on one's ipod shuffle or on a writer's deadline.... In the end, despite despite cultural pressure to create an instant "hit", I had to listen to my inner voice and go for this - whatever you want to call it - (is it a concept album?)...an album that I hope will cater at the very least to the deep, patient listener."
In addition to Hollenbeck, the band has four other superb musicians: Drew Gress (double bass), Matt Moran (vibraphone), Ted Reichman (accordion) and Chris Speed (tenor sax and clarinet).
"This is a true ensemble from top to bottom, a sonic equivelent to a hand-woven tapestry...impressive." – DownBeat
"It's curious and sometimes lightly funny without sour, satiric edges. It doesn't need alignments with jazz or rock or anything else to vindicate itself" – The New York Times
"Contemporary classical, jazz, minimal, progressive...genre matters not. The Claudia Quintet is, quite simply, a category all it's own - aa group of players with the kind of infinite reach to give Hollenbeck's captivating compositions an approach like no other." – All About Jazz
"...The Claudia Quintet truly sounds like no other working ensemble today." – One Final Note
released October 11, 2005
John Hollenbeck - drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, fan
Drew Gress - acoustic bass, pedal steel guitar, electric guitar
Matt Moran - vibraphone, keyboards, baritone horn
Ted Reichman - accordion, acoustic/electric guitar, keyboards
Chris Speed - clarinet, tenor saxophone, piano, Casio SK-1
Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording. Assisted by Andrew Solin, Yohei Goto and Can Aykal.
Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering.
Produced by John Hollenbeck and Claudia.
All compositions by John Hollenbeck.
The Claudia Quintet/John Hollenbeck albums available on Bandcamp:
Yes,yes,yes! I've been waiting for Dave to do this again...two brilliant runs by DDQ and Keystone were documented on Greenleaf back in the day; they were groundbreaking...recorded and released within 24 hours for each set...they were stellar performances and I play them again and again.
With absolutely no chance of ever being there, this is the closest i'll ever be to 'being there'...so excited I may need to lay down in a darkened room for a while! John Cratchley