KAJA DRAKSLER – The Lives Of Many Others

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Kaja Draksler: piano

The title instantly gives an idea of a profound thinker, discarding the issues of ego to begin with and proceeding from there. Then you read that this Slovenian girl got a master in jazz piano with a thesis about the inner structures in Cecil Taylor’s improvisation, remaining surprised by the fact that the content of this excellent disc is not overly stricken by that influence, except perhaps as a kind of heavenly inspiration. When the program starts, it’s all piano innards with a lot of rubbing and metallic whispering. Then we go on through a path of extreme transparence and daintiness, with smooth-spoken phraseologies and light reverberations that more often than not touch the soul quite graphically. It’s heartfelt, and beautiful to hear.

One moment we’re in for melodic cells calling to memory ancient lullabies for children. A few passages later, a cross-pollination of Thelonious Monk and a gentler niece of Irene Schweizer materializes during tracks where strange diagonals and soft poetry meet, the performer’s utter articulacy rendering the act of listening a reason for mild delight, never a chore. Draksler is currently studying classical composition, the attraction to that lineament of technical constitution also clearly audible in some of her approaches to the keyboard. But it’s the humbleness that I liked the most: reluctant to believe herself a star (a practiced percipient immediately detects the wrong attitude, or false passion, in the playing), this young unassuming virtuoso has probably taken a first step to a deserved repute. For now, enjoy 42 minutes of receding gracefulness, the indication of an intimate quietness being the artist’s fundamental means of expression.

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