The Lives Of Many Others
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Titling a piano solo with a reference to the “many others” tells you everything about the personality of this young Slovenian composer and improviser. Kaja Draksler’s use of the keyboard may be a solitary one, fueled by very personal considerations, but the music played is inhabited by the ones who established the history of this instrument, from both the classical – she has a solid “erudite” background, and it shows – and jazz fields.
Her master thesis was a study of Cecil Taylor’s inner structures of improvisation and his rhythmic, percussive, influence is patent all around, even if her approach is less dense. Her broken, non-linear phrasing comes directly from Thelonious Monk, and she takes Bach’s counterpoint to extreme consequences, liberating the left hand from the right. There’s also something from her studying with two of the greatest jazz pianists of these days, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran. And there’s more: Draksler’s experience with large number formations (European Movement Jazz Orchestra, her own Katarchestra, Slovenian Philharmony Orchestra and others) is translated here to a vision of the piano as a miniature orchestra. Here is a new surprising talent to discover…