The Squid's Ear Magazine

Draksler, Kaja Octet: Out For Stars (Clean Feed)

After setting music for the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Andriana Minou (Gledalec), Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler turns to the work of Robert Frost in a set of 7 sophisticated compositions, sung by Laura Polence & Bjork Nielsdottir in an improvising octet with reedists Ab Baars & Ada Rave, violinist George Dumitriu, bassist Lennart Heyndels and drummer Onno Govaert.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063005349

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF534
Squidco Product Code: 28741

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at De Bijloke, in Gent, Belgium, on September 28th and 29th, by Dieter Claeys.


Laura Polence-voice

Bjork Nielsdottir-voice

Ada Rave-tenor saxophone, clarinet, mouth organ

Ab Baars-clarinet, tenor saxophone, mouth organ, voice

George Dumitriu-violin, viola, mouth organ

Kaja Draksler-piano, kalimba, cowbells

Lennart Heyndels-double bass, voice

Onno Govaert-drums, percussion, mouth organ

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"With the previous "Gledalec", Slovenian pianist and composer Kaja Draksler found a gem to work on, and here is the continuation of that labour, now having the poetry of Robert Frost as both inspiration and feedstock, in the voices of Laura Polence and Bjork Nielsdottir. The ambiances of the music are pastoral, respecting the poems taken from "West Running Brook", "A Witness Tree" and "In the Clearing". You can almost hear the woods and the streams described by the late author in his attempt to depict the complexity of the human condition and its relation to nature.

Living in Amsterdam, and playing with a group of musicians of different nationalities also settled in Holland (Ada Rave, Ab Baars, George Dumitriu, Lennart Heyndels and Onno Govaert are the instrumental participants in her octet), Draksler adopts in "Out for Stars" many of this jazz scene's procedures, namely the contributions of all the musicians involved and the interiorization of diverse musical genres and styles, including some of the past. But attention: what we have here isn't more of the same, but the answer to new challenges. You can't miss it."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies

"Laura Polence (1987) is a singer and composer from Latvia, since year 2007 based in the Netherlands. Her musical background of Latvian folkmusic and 12 years of European academic music studies have merged with strong interest in modern jazz, the popular music of Brazil and singer-songwriter-like compositional ideas in the last couple of years. Laura won the Best Composition Prize of the "Dutch Jazz Competition 2012"."

-Native DSD Music (

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"Soprano and multi instrumentalist Björk Níelsdóttir (Iceland, 1986) began her musical life at an early age studying trumpet. After joining Björk Guðmundsdóttir on the Volta World Tour (2007 - 2008), she pursued her carreer as a singer, earning in 2015 a Master degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Excellence and Distinction for artistry. Throughout her studies, she interpreted many opera roles including Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart), Alcina (Alcina by Handel), La Musica (Les plaisirs de Versailles by Charpentier) and created the rôle of The Aunt/The Angel in the world premiere of Sinking by Georgi Sztojanov.

In 2014, she sings Marie, in Woyzeck een waanopera(production by Silbersee/ex Vocaallab) at Oerol Festival, Karavaanfestival and Over het Ij Festival (NL). She makes her debut at Muziekgebouw aan't Ij (Amsterdam, NL) in September 2014 singing the soprano solo in Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt and Stabat Mater by G. B. Pergolesi with The New European Ensemble. In 2015 she joins british pop icon Florence and the Machine on her How Big World Tour as a backing vocalist and trumpettist. That same year she performs the world premiere of Cars 2 by british composer Luke Deane at Grachtenfestival. In 2016 she works with Peter-Jan Wagemans to creating Beeldenstorm (a production by Hollands Diep with the Amsterdam Baroque Consort and the Doelen Ensemble). In 2017 she gives several solo concerts performing Sequenza by Luciano Berio and Les Récitations by Georges Aperghis. In 2018 she will be working extensively with experimental opera company Silbersee on their latest production Aardappelvreters.

Björk is a member of slovenian pianist and composer Kaja Draksler's Octet. Their Gledalec album (2017, Clean Feed Records) received much praise from both press and audiences around the world. She is co-founder of Stirni Ensemble, Iceland based chamber ensemble for which she arranged Astor Piazzola in 2018, and of DUPLUM, with violist Thora Margrét Sveinsdóttir, blending colors from folk culture and minimalism with their expertise of classical and contemporary music."

-Bjork Nielsdottir Website (

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"Ada Rave: Saxophonist, improviser and composer, was born in Chubut (Argentina) in 1974. She began her musical development in 2000 in the Buenos Aires jazz scene. Her musical interests are jazz, free improvisation and composition. She works on her own projects and also collaborates with other musician's - performing in several places around Argentina. Since 2013 she has been based in Amsterdam where she performs with several musicians in the Netherlands and Europe. She continues researching her personal approach to the sound and interaction with other musicians as well as the environment, expanding her passion for the free improvisation.

She is currently involved in the following musical projects:

- new rumors & other noises with Raoul Van Der Weide (contrabass) and Nico Chientaroli (piano)

- Wilbert De Joode (contrabass) and Nicola Hein (guitar)

- Kaja Draksler (piano, composition), Laura Polence and Bjork Nielsdottir (voices), Ab Baars (cl, sax), George Dumitriu (violin, viola), Lennart Heyndels (contrabass), Onno Govaert (drums)

- Felicity Provan (trumpet, composition), Han Buhrs (voice), Harald Austbo (cello), Michael Vatcher (drums)

She studied with the teachers: Carlos Lastra, Enrique Norris and Rodrigo Domínguez and graduated with a degree in jazz at the Manuel De Falla Conservatory of Buenos Aires.

In addition to playing music, she is also the initiator and organizer of a jam session for free improvisation (in both Buenos Aires and Amsterdam), and also a concert organizer. She has also been a music educator since 2000 and she currently teaches saxophone and free improvisation."

-Pany Rosa Discos (

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"Ab Baars (Magrette, 1955): Dutch musician-composer and bandleader Ab Baars performs on tenor saxophone, clarinet and shakuhachi. He focuses mainly on Ab Baars Solo, Baars-Buis, Fish Scale Sunrise, Perch Hen Brock & Rain, Ab Baars Trio, Duo Baars-Henneman and the ICP Orchestra.

In reviews Baars' music has been characterized as joyfully obstinate, but surely appealing and as colourful as it is astonishing. It embodies the best typically Dutch improvised music has to offer. Although he seldomly uses recognizable song forms or ongoing swing rhythms, the music stays catchy, because it is stripped to the essence and clearly presented.

Ab Baars has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music performed in hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, North America, Brasil, Japan and Australia in the past 30 years.

Some highlights:
▪ Ab Baars Trio tour Netherlands (2013 - 2014) recorded on Slate Blue (Wig 24, 2014)
▪ Duo Baars-Henneman Autumn Songs USA Tour (2012) recorded on Autumn Songs (Wig 22, 2013)
▪ Ab Baars Trio & New York Guests Fay Victor, Vincent Chancey and Dutch poet Anneke Brassinga in Invisible Blow (2011) recorded on Invisible Blow (Wig 23, 2014)
▪ Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark (2007 and 2009), recorded on Goofy June Bug (Wig 15, 2008)
▪ Kinda Dukish. The music of Duke Ellington (2004), recorded on Kinda Dukish (Wig 12, 2005)
▪ Ab Baars Trio plays music of Native Americans (1999), recorded on Songs (Geestgronden, 2001)
▪ Ab Baars Trio with trombonist Roswell Rudd (1996 & 98), recorded on Four (DATA Records, 2001)
▪ Ab Baars Trio plays the music of John Carter, recorded on A Free Step (Geestgronden, 1999)
▪ Ab Baars Trio in collaboration with the Nieuw Ensemble, shakuhachi player Yoshikazu Iwamoto and conductor Butch Morris at the Festival Improvisations/Improvisations (1996)
▪ Ab Baars Trio with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (1995)

Influenced by the American saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, whom he worked with in 1986, and by his participation in the Monk Project (performed by the Instant Composers Pool, directed by Misha Mengelberg), Baars adopted a very personal style, or 'ab music' as Misha Mengelberg calls it.

At the age of 15, Ab Baars began playing the saxophone in the Philips Marching Band and other local bands in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. From 1976 to 1981, he studied saxophone with Leo van Oostrom at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. He was granted a scholarship by the Dutch Ministry of Culture in 1989 to study with clarinettist-composer John Carter in Los Angeles. That same year Baars was presented with the prestigious Boy Edgar Award. In 2005, Baars set out playing the shakuhachi (a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute) and took lessons with Kees Kort, Christopher Blasdel and Takeo Yamashiro.

So far, Ab Baars has worked with improvisers such as Han Bennink, Jaap Blonk, Alberto Braida, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, The Ex, Cor Fuhler, Ben Goldberg, Tristan Honsinger, François Houle, George Lewis, Michael Moore, Sunny Murray, Sonic Youth, Fabrizio Spera, Cecil Taylor, Roger Turner, Ken Vandermark, Veryan Weston, Wolter Wierbos, Michiyo Yagi, poets H.C. ten Berge and Diane Régimbald, dancers Beppie Blankert, Hisako Horikawa, Masako Noguchi and Katie Duck's Magpie Company."

-Wig (

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"George Dumitriu is a Romanian guitarist, violist and violinist residing in Amsterdam. Graduate of the Bucharest National University of Music, he won more than 15 national and international prizes as a classical violinist. As a jazz guitarist he studied in Groningen (granted with the Huygens Scholarship), New York and Conservatory of Amsterdam, researching live electronics.

Co-leading the group Re-bop Unit, he recorded a CD featuring the New York saxophonist Dick Oatts. In 2007 he joined the European Jazz Academy Big-Band led by Peter Herbolzheimer, performing in Europe and having guests such as Benny Golson and Herb Geller. As one of the four finalists of 2011 Brussels Jazz Orchestra International Contest, had the chance to compose and conduct one of the most prestigious big-bands.Important collaborations: Ambrose Akinmusire, Theo Loevendie, Michel Godard, Ack van Rooyen, Michael Moore.

As a leader of the group DUMItRIO, he released the album Future Nostalgia in 2014 (FN01).He performs internationally with a variety of ensembles (Sanem Kalfa, Kaja Draksler Octet, Hidden Myth, Romanian Jazz Collective, Newstalgia, Steven Kamperman Trio, Alex Simu Quintet).Founding member of the I/O music-theater platform, he experiments with live electronics, composition and improvisation.

He is a guest teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory and Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen."

-George Dumitriu Website (

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"Kaja Draksler (1987) is a Slovenian pianist and composer. After her studies in the Netherlands (BA in jazz piano and MA in classical composition), she decided to stay in Amsterdam, where she is an active member of the improvisors scene, performing extensively all over the Europe. Besides her frequent solo concerts, she has been working regularly with Čudars-Draksler Duo, Feecho, BadBooshBand, and Draksler-Santos Silva duo. She is also one of the founding members of the interdisciplinary group I/O. She recently formed her Octet. As a composer she has been commissioned by various international groups, ranging from vocal and chamber ensembles to big bands and orchestras. Kaja is interested in finding ways to merge the composition and (free) improvisation by working with different structures and musical logics. She is drawn to the idea of erasing the stylistic and historical musical borders, and discovering personal expression and language through composition and improvisation."

- Website (

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"Lennart Heyndels grew up in musical family. He got in touch with classical and jazz music from an early age on. Currently he's studying at the Royal Conservatory The Hague where he will receive his bachelor degree in june 2012. He got selected to participate in the "IASJ Jazz Meeting" 2010 in The Hague, allowing him to take classes with bass legend Reggie Workman. As a First Prize winner at the "Prinses Christina Concours" 2010 in Amsterdam, Lennart was able to attend the critically acclaimed "Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music" 2011 in Canada. Lennart is an active member in jazz bands Elk Town, Winchovski, Tree House, Matiss Cudars Quartet, Sallma's Moles as well as pop band Wildlife and rock band Hypochristmutreefuzz. Besides he works as a freelance musician with a wide variety of musicians.

Education :
2008 - High School Degree ASO Latin-Modern Languages "Koninklijk Atheneum Pitzemburg", Mechelen
-2002 - Basic Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: cello
-2008 - Full Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: jazz double bass
-2008 - Basic Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: classical double bass
-2012 - Bachelor Degree Jazz Double Bass "Royal Conservatory The Hague" (NL)

Past Projects :
-electric bass player/singer/composer with rock band A Vibe (2002-2011)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Groovepact (2004-2008)
-double bass player in folk band Nuada (2007)
-bass player in dance/music production "Waanzien" by Lise Uytterhoeven and Tom Mahieu (2006)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Jazzzound (2006-2007)
-leader/double bass player of jazz ensemble Eclectic Yell (2008-2009)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Marjan Van Rompay Group (2009-2010)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Alex Koo Trio (2009-2011)
-electric bass player with singer-songwriter Jasper Erkens (2009)
-Tour in Sweden with jazz/world music band Bamako Project (2010)
-Tour in Latvia with jazz ensemble Matiss Cudars Quartet (2011)
-CD-recording + Tour in Denmark with jazz ensemble Bjarke Nikolajsen "Gibberish" Quintet (2011)
-CD-recording with eclectic pop band Wildlife (2010-2011)
-Tour in Lithuania with jazz ensemble Vytis Smolskas trio (2011)
-CD-recording in Osnabrück, Germany, with Matiss Cudars Quartet (2012)

Current Projects :
-Jazz ensembles: Winchovski, Elk Town, Tree House, Matiss Cudars Quartet, Sallma's Moles
-Part time bass player in rock band Hypochristmutreefuzz
-bass player in eclectic pop band Wildlife
Workshops : -2011 - Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, Banff, Canada with: Dave Douglas, Matt Brewer, Clarence Penn, Robin Eubanks, Kneebody ,...
-2010 - IASJ Jazz Meeting, The Hague, The Netherlands with: Dave Liebman, Reggie Workman, Ronan Guilfoyle, ...
-2010 - Langnau Jazz Nights Workshop, Langnau, Switserland with: David Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, Eivind Opsvik, Dan Weiss, ...
-2008 - Summerschool, Dordrecht, The Netherlands with: Hein van de Geyn, Ab Baars
-2007 - Rencontres des Contrebasses Internationale Stage, Cap Breton, France with: Hein van de Geyn, François Moutin, Joe LaBarbera, Enrico Pieranunzi, ...
-2006 - Jazzworkshop Halewijnstichting, Brussels, Belgium with: Nic Thys
Masterclasses and lessons with -Thomas Morgan, Ralph Alessi, Ronan Guilfoyle, Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier, Gregory Hutchinson, Mark Turner

Prizes :
2010: Two First Prizes (with both Alex Koo trio and Matiss Cudars trio) at the Prinses Christina Concours, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2010: Finalist at the Dutch Jazz Competition, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2006: First Prize at "Maanrockrally", Mechelen with A Vibe
2006: Second Prize at "Musiclive", Brugge with Groovepact

-2011-2012: Huygens Scholarship Program for excellent foreign students, studying in the Netherlands -Jazz in Belgium (

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Onno Govaert is a drumer from Amsterdamn performing free jazz, swing and rock. He is a member of Cactus Truck with Jasper Stadhouders and Wilbert de Joode, and has also recorded with Andy Moor, Colin McLean, and John Dikeman, and with Dave Rempis and Frank Rosaly.

-Squidco 9/20/2023

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Track Listing:

1. Danas, Jucer, Sutra 9:10

2. Acquainted with the Night 12:54

3. The Last Mowing 5:59

4. Never Again Will Birds, Song Be the Same 12:20

5. The Silken Tent 8:58

6. Away! 7:05

7. The Freedom of the Moon 5:06

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Octet Recordings
Song Based Music
Spoken Word

Squidco's Clean Feed $12.00 Sale

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Clean Feed.

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