Claudia Quintet — For
(Cuneiform Rune 247, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01For their fourth release, John Hollenbeck and company have produced yet another engaging disc of Euro-folk chamber jazz, for lack of a better quick descriptive for their unique and identifiable style. Anchored by a playful bottom end of acoustic bass, drums, and percussion, the colorful melodics are driven by accordion, clarinet, tenor sax, and vibraphone, with every player masterfully in command of every nuance of their instrument, together creating rich and intricate tapestries of amazing depth and emotion. The jazz component is the strongest element, yet the compositions (all by drummer Hollenbeck) and arrangements are informed by a multitude of different things, including eastern European folk, free improv, classical ideas, minimalist, left-of-center rock and funk, Caribbean rhythms, Turkish themes, avant-garde musings, and even an occasional blessing of the blues. In less capable hands than Hollenbeck’s, with such an open concoction, it might be easy for a group of players to get lost in various tangents, but that’s not the case here at all – the effort is remarkably cohesive and brilliantly executed from the first note to the last. Each of the eight cuts is a dedication, hence titles like “I’m So Fickin’ Cool (for Fritz Pauer)” or “Rainy Days/Peanut Butter Mash-up (For all music teachers),” or simply “For You” (the latter with its spoken lyrics – all other tracks are purely instrumental). This is spirited and tasty fare that most listeners should be able to wrap their ears around.
Related artist(s): The Claudia Quintet
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more