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The Claudia Quintet: Semi-Formal

John Hollenbeck describes the sound of his Claudia Quintet as “a warm, thick pudding.” It’s hard to improve on that, although one could add that the drummer’s methods are rigorous and not at all mushy. His third Claudia release, Semi-Formal, follows his large-ensemble disc A Blessing, and the timing is apt. Hollenbeck’s gift for imaginative, finely woven orchestration couldn’t be clearer, whether he’s working with five pieces or 16.

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