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The Claudia Quintet - Semi-Formal CD (album) cover

SEMI-FORMAL

The Claudia Quintet

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.05 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

fuxi
Prog Reviewer
4 stars What a splendid album. If the line-up appeals to you, trust me: the musique is as bubbly and inventive as you'd hope for. The main instruments used are: drums and percussion, vibraphone, keyboards (mainly organ and pianos, both acoustic and electric), clarinet, accordion and double bass. (You will also get to hear some tenor sax, various guitars and even an electric fan.)

How to describe the contents? For those approaching this from a rock angle, perhaps the easiest comparison will be Gong at the time of SHAMAHL (without those awful vocals, of course) or with Hatfield and the North at their mellowest: chamber jazz, Canterbury style. For listeners who are deeply into actual jazz: this music often reminded me of the collaborations between Don Byron (clarinet), Bryan Carrott (vibes) and Ralph Peterson, although it's more "classical" in mood, and less frantic. There are also some distinct echos of Weather Report at their most infectious. Finally, I also recognised the influence of European salon music (mainly due to the presence of an old-fashioned accordion) and (occasionally) of Steve Reich style minimalism.

Of course a mere list of influences won't capture the spirit of an album, so let me add that The Claudia Quintet seem to have absorbed many different styles effortlessly, turning them into a joyous 65-minute whole which is always highly inventive and sometimes delightfully surprising. I can't wait to find out more about these guys!

fuxi | 4/5 |

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