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The Claudia Quintet: Semi-Formal

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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/percussionist’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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