Monday, October 24, 2011


On their sixth release, The Claudia Quintet pays tribute to avant-garde poet and artist Kenneth Patchen.

If you're unfamiliar with the work of Kenneth Patchen, be sure to check it out. It's fascinating. Appearantly, Patchen did not just write poetry. He wrote novels, worked together with John Cage, and with Charles Mingus, and he painted so-called "painted poems".

On "What Is The Beautiful?" John Hollenbeck celebrates Patchen's birthday (December 13 , 1911) by putting his poems to music. And John did a great job.

John Hollenbeck's contemporary, jazzy pieces fit perfectly with Kenneth Patchen's catchy and funny poetry. The slightly changing, repetitive lines create a intemate atmosphere, serving as a soundscape and guideline for Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann who recite and sing the poems. Very impressive.

As on their previous CD, the album is credited to The Claudia Quintet + 1. Again, the ensemble - John Hollenbeck on drums, Drew Gress on acoustic bass, Matt Moran on vibraphone, Ted Reichman on accordion, and Chris Speed on clarinet and tenor sax - are joined by Matt Mitchell on piano.

soundsamples & info:

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