Australian Hi-Fi

The Claudia Quintet

| September | Cuneiform RUNE 377


The relationsh­ip between silence and music is like that between a virgin coastline and the threat of residentia­l developmen­t. Just as some buildings blend and others obliterate, some music embraces the silence on which it is painted, and some seeks to expunge all traces. For a sense of air around the notes vibraphone is king. Accordion and clarinet are good, too, and these three colours are central to the aerated sound of the Claudia Quintet, the New York band that realises the unique sonic dreams of drummer John Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck writes cosmopolit­an melodies that are by turns charming and wistful, sometimes underpinni­ng them with surprising­ly knotty rhythms, given that the end music is seldom dense—although clarinetti­st Chris Speed can play storming tenor saxophone when required.

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