November 2nd, 2009
John Hollenbeck’s genre-defying Claudia Quintet returned to Seattle with driving rhythms, beautiful and quirky melodies, and stunning virtuosity. Much of Claudia’s instantly recognizable sound must be traced to its members, bassist Drew Gress, saxophonist Chris Speed, vibraphonist Matt Moran, and accordianist/ keyboardist Ted Reichman. Sunday night they were joined by he versatile and brilliant pianist Gary Versace.
From the groups inception, Hollenbeck knew the quintet was to be a true band, its sound determined as much by the players’ personalities as by the compositions and instrumentation. The band has been hailed by diverse audiences from around the world, attesting to the fact that genre-defying music need not be inaccessible. The Claudia Quintet is an astonishing ensemble, certainly one of the most original and enjoyable small groups performing today.