JWQ Showcase 2017

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

USA The Claudia Quintet/John Hollenbeck -Super Petite (2016)


Super Petite 

John Hollenbeck - drums and percussion
Red Wierenga - accordion
Matt Moran - vibraphone
Drew Gress - acoustic bass
Chris Speed - clarinet and tenor sax

Short doesn't necessarily mean simple. Drummer-composer John Hollenbeck acrobatically explores the dichotomy between brevity and complexity on Super Petite, the eighth release by the critically-acclaimed, proudly eccentric Claudia Quintet. The oxymoronic title of the new album, captures the essence of its ten new compositions, which pack all of the wit and virtuosity that listeners have come to expect from the Claudia Quintet into a shorter time-frame.

Hollenbeck's uncategorizable music - which bridges the worlds of modern jazz and new music in surprising and inventive ways - is realized by Claudia's longstanding line-up. Over the course of 19 years and 8 albums, the band has forged an astounding chemistry and become expert at juggling mind-boggling dexterity with inviting emotion and spirit.

The concept of shorter works was both a personal challenge for Hollenbeck as a composer always dealing with a wealth of ideas, but also a reaction to a tendency in modern music toward the epic. ''I'm feeling things in the opposite direction,'' the composer explains. ''When tunes are longer, there tend to be moments when not a whole lot is happening. If you have a really short tune, the whole thing has to be compelling.''

Equally compelling, the release comes with a fat, 20 page color booklet, designed by KarlssonWilker, who have done all of the artwork for Claudia's releases, which is filled with unusual and attractive art.

Review

''You'd never mistake Claudia for anyone else.'' --DownBeat

''...imparts another testament to their enduring resilience and idiosyncratic representation of the jazz vernacular. (Passionately recommended...)'' --All About Jazz

''Unclassifiable by any standard...The Claudia Quintet has explored the permeable boundaries between genres with single-minded dedication.'' --Point Of Departure