The Claudia Quintet: John Hollenbeck – drums and percussion Red Wierenga – accordion Matt Moran – vibraphone Drew Gress – acoustic bass Chris Speed – clarinet and tenor sax
"The Claudia Quintet deftly covers a large amount of musical territory and...is helping to define jazz today." –The Wall Street Journal
“You’d never mistake Claudia for anyone else.” – DownBeat
“Sensing the tipping point where improvisation undermines a composer's intentions, or composition imprisons good improvisers, is the challenge for musicians who like giving equal weight to both – and the Claudia Quintet are frontrunners at this tricky game.” – The Guardian
“...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
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.”