Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Claudia Quintet


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Claudia Quintet Royal Toast album cover
4.09 | 11 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crane Merit (6:46)
2. Keramag Prelude (1:01)
3. Keramag (8:10)
4. Paterna Terra (5:31)
5. Ted Versus Ted (0:42)
6. Armitage Shanks (5:03)
7. Drew With Drew (0:48)
8. Sphinx (3:59)
9. Matt on Matt (0:53)
10. Zurn (6:42)
11. Chris and Chris (0:55)
12. Royal Toast (5:31)
13. Ideal (Intro) (1:15)
14. Ideal Standard (8:06)
15. American Standard (6:04)
16. For Frederick Franck (7:49)

Total Time 69:15

Line-up / Musicians

- John Hollenbeck / drums, percussion
- Ted Reichman / accordion
- Chris Speed / clarinet, tenor saxophone
- Matt Moran / vibraphone
- Drew Gress / acoustic bass
- Gary Versace / piano, accordion on 16

Releases information

Cuneiform Records RUNE 307

Thanks to SaltyJon for the addition
and to SaltyJon for the last updates
Edit this entry


More places to buy THE CLAUDIA QUINTET music online

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Royal Toast ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Royal Toast reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progpositivity
4 stars Quick overview: Nice and warm throughout yet also contrapuntal and dissonant at times. If you like Zappa's instrumental jazzy side (ex: Eric Dolphy's Memorial BBQ), this may be of interest. More jazz than prog but inventive and excellently performed. All instrumental (no vocals) featuring drums, bass, vibes, accordian, sax, clarinet, and piano.

More detailed review: Although "Royal Toast" features the kind of complex inter-locking multi- instrumental passages one might expect to come from a post-progressive rock band, its presentation is much more firmly planted within the realm of jazz than that of rock. I don't mean to imply that there is no energy or excitement to be found on this CD. On the contrary, there is certainly more than enough of both to go around - just not particularly of the rock variety. Unlike many jazz ensembles, drummer John Hollenbeck has kept this core lineup intact for quite a few years now, resulting in a group of instrumentalists who are very comfortable performing extended musical passages in which not only does no single member occupy the lead chair, but in which players neither compete with nor usurp one another. In this respect, some of the band's most inventive and exciting pieces can be likened to very polite and proper extensions of math rock.

Gary Versace fits in nicely as he sits in on piano. (Yes, our "quintet" has 6 members this time around!) Versace does a good job of finding his place in the groove, cutting loose only when the songs demand it. Ted Reichman's accordion continues to redefine the limited way in which many people think about the instrument.

If, during your progrock explorations, you have developed an taste for intelligent and inventive progressive jazz, this is a winner.

If for no other reason than the fact that it manages to present us with a collection of warm, rich and oddly understated instrumental pieces while also intelligently reaching into contrapuntal, dissonant and even freeform musical realms, this album deserves a listen.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Three years after their last album, The Claudia Quintet returned with this new album. This band's music has the style of its own - deeply rooted in modern jazz, it accumulates chamber music, minimalism and some downtown scent (kletzmer tunes and accordion sound,etc).

Interesting, that being really complex and very multi-layered, this music is quite accessible listening from very first spin. Another thing , that to get in it in whole you will need to spend hours and hours, after every listening you will discover new episodes and sounds.

Bands founder drummer and composer John Hollenbeck is a great figure of modern American avant-jazz scene, and his compositions and musicianship are really of the highest standard there on this album.

Still an album for avant-jazz lovers, it could be really attractive for some chamber rock/RIO fans as well. One of most unique, complex and interesting release from 2010.

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Royal Toast has been one of my favorite discoveries this year. Upon reading about the Claudia Quintet on Wayside Music, I was intrigued by their descriptions, so I ordered the band's latest album. What I got was a thoroughly pleasing mix of modern jazz and bits of chamber music sound. The group's core lineup has remained the same throughout the many years they've been recording, but on this album they were joined by pianist Gary Versace. He's been collaborating with Hollenbeck for quite a while now, playing with him in his Large Ensemble and other groups, and Hollenbeck has said that "what he plays is exactly what I would I be doing if I could play piano really well." This really plays to the advantage of the group, and he fits in so naturally that if I didn't know better I'd say he's been with the group for years.

The music on the album was mostly composed by Hollenbeck, and so it's all very rhythmically complex. The group manages to maintain this complexity without detracting from the listenability. I really like the style of music on display here. It's both melodic and based on the various rhythmic ideas present in the different pieces. One of the most unique things about this album is the short interlude pieces "Ted vs. Ted", "Drew with Drew", "Matt On Matt", and "Chris and Chris". On these pieces, the musician in the title was asked to improvise a duet with himself, an experiment which worked out very well in my opinion. The musicians didn't even know that the pieces would be played together, and each line was recorded separately. Along with these experimental duets, the rest of the tracks are some incredible avant-jazzy compositions sure to please fans of the jazzy side of things, and quite possibly beyond. It always manages to get my toes tapping along to the beat (though my feet sometimes get lost in the shuffle).

This album does seem to be more jazzy than it is prog, but it's a very great recording, and I think it's worth checking out for just about anyone. This is easily one of my favorite albums from 2010, and I have no hesitation in giving it the full five stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Actually "Claudia Quintet & Gary Versace", one of the contenders to "the most overrated albums of 2010" IMHO. I picked this album coming from the jazz side and was rather surprised to find it in PA, nothing proggish about it. I think that 2010 was a good year for jazz(even more than for prog) and ... (read more)

Report this review (#373843) | Posted by idlero | Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE CLAUDIA QUINTET "Royal Toast"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.