The Claudia Quintet - Sphinx by Cuneiform Records   7 years ago

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"Sphinx" by The Claudia Quintet from the album 'Royal Toast' (Cuneiform Records).

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Album Personnel:
John Hollenbeck (Drums, Percussion)
Ted Reichman (Accordion)
Chris Speed (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Matt Moran (Vibraphone)
Drew Gress (Acoustic Bass)
Gary Versace (Piano, Accordion on Track 16)

Royal Toast is the long-awaited fifth release by this wonderful and undefinable ensemble. Led by twice Grammy-nominated drummer/composer John Hollenbeck, who The Village Voice called, "...superb, technically ingenious... passionate and serious, but also playful and funny...", the band features four other versatile and acclaimed players: Drew Gress (bass), Matt Moran (vibes), Ted Reichman (accordion) and Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), all of whom are bandleaders in their own right in addition to their work with Claudia. The quintet is here supplemented by pianist Gary Versace, a longtime collaborator of Hollenbeck’s. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the addition of piano to the group's now quite well known 'standard' sound is actually just how naturally it fits in! It's not a shocking thing at all to the long-time listener; the piano just becomes one more voice in the multi-musical-line stew. The addition of Versace means that half of the band is now essentially playing percussive instruments, giving Hollenbeck more opportunity than ever to follow his polyrhythmic muse; it absolutely and dinstinctly still sounds like Claudia, but now there's even more to love!

"John Hollenbeck's New York based ensemble, founded in 1997, continues to trace an original route through contemporary jazz." – The Wire

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