Theo Bleckmann Archive

The Claudia Quintet + 1 – What Is the Beautiful? – Cuneiform Rune

The Claudia Quintet + 1 – What Is the Beautiful? – Cuneiform Rune

The Claudia Quintet + 1 featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann – What Is the Beautiful? – Cuneiform Rune 327, 66:11 ****: (John Hollenbeck – drums, percussion, keyboards, producer; Ted Reichman – accordion; Chris Speed – clarinet, tenor saxophone; Matt Moran – vibraphone; Drew Gress – acoustic bass; Matt Mitchell – piano; Kurt Elling – vocals (tracks 1, 4, 7, 10, 12); Theo Bleckmann – vocals (tracks 2, 5, 8, 11) The confluence of poetry or spoken word with improvisational music goes as far back as the Harlem renaissance, became synonymous with the Beats, figured heavily in proto-rap music (Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets) and continues to flourish. Along the years, there have been many recordings of poets reading their work to jazz accompaniment. Some of it was great, some mediocre, most atrocious. Poet/visualist Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) was no stranger to filtering his artistic mien through music with better-than-average collaborations with Allyn Ferguson, Al Neil, John Cage and unrecorded live performances with Charles Mingus (what a pity that was not taped). One hundred years after Patchen’s birth, composer/drummer John Hollenbeck and The Claudia Quintet +1 have released the celebratory hour-long Patchen tribute, What Is the Beautiful?, which reimagines Patchen’s […]