The Kleb Qntet, a group led by local multi-instrumentalist Kaleb Kirby that crosses a variety of styles over modern jazz compositions, handed over a new project under the name “A Handful of Tunes” on December 8th, 2021. It was recorded live at Native Sound Recording with David Beeman on the faders. Following the group’s ambitious May 2020 full length “The Quintestament”, this new EP doesn’t stray too far off their signature easy-breezy yet twisting and turning arrangements. The first track “Beach Journey” is a re-interpretation of an Alan Hawkshaw composition, while the next three tunes are all original compositions tinted by the group’s signature flavor.
Kaleb’s unique brand of drumming comes through with expected accuracy, laying a foundation to pin together the sounds of the rest of the quintet: Adam Maness on keys and synths, Aaron O’Neill on bass, Steven Johnson on saxophone, and Josiah Joyce on guitar. The lengthy centerpiece of the project “Stay Golden” begins with an unsteady improv-style drum-roll introduction that breaths erratically with the band before heading into the certainty of the main melody and the steady groove that follows. The stable territory is then decisively challenged by rough instrumental clashes that describe a jagged path to a thumping and pristinely performed solo section. The strength of the Kleb Qntet comes from these collaborative movements characteristic of a well-acquainted lineup; many parts and ideas blend seamlessly to become a whole despite how angular the composition might be.
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Listen to “A Handful of Tunes” via Bandcamp below: