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Recorded at Bayerische Rundfunk Studio in Nürnberg, Germany in co-production with BR KLASSIK.

With their newest recording Of Mystery And Beauty alto saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer and drummer Drori Mondlak continue their creative collaboration that began in New York City in 2000.

In their seventh recording together their vision has crystallized into an original and deeply personal sound.

Strassmayer and Mondlak consider this collection of original compositions and solo improvisations to be their most powerful recording to date.

KLARO! fuses the romanticism of European classical and folk music with the rhythmic fire and swing of American jazz and the harmonic sophistication of contemporary improvised music.

Pianist Rainer Böhm and bassist John Goldsby complete the quartet.

“Beauty means different things to different people. But there is a universal truth about it, regardless of taste and aesthetic; beauty has the power to move the heart,” says Karolina Strassmayer.

Internationally renowned journalist Hrayr Attarian writes….

“Simultaneously unconventional and accessible Of Mystery and Beauty is an imaginative work. With charm and intelligence it eschews both abstruseness and banality. It engrosses with its diversity yet remains conceptually cohesive. It stimulates and moves with its ingenious complexity and fascinating fluidity. In short it is, to date, Strassmayer and Mondlak's finest disc and one that surely will stand the test of time..”
-Hrayr Attarian - All About Jazz, February 2016

Jazz journalist and historian, Doug Ramsey writes….

"From the drama of the album’s opening cymbal splashes to the fading piano notes at its end, alto saxophonist and flutist Strassmayer and drummer Mondlak reaffirm their mastery of small group music that is as notable for strength as for intimacy.

Of Mystery and Beauty is, if anything, even more compelling than their 2013 Small Moments. In no small part that is because of the support of the under sung American bassist John Goldsby and the young veteran German pianist Rainer Böhm.

Strassmayer has absorbed, internalized and personalized what John Coltrane gave to jazz and often evokes him purely on the power of her tone and inflection.

The subtlety of Mondlak’s drumming is epitomized in his unaccompanied feature “Cascades.” Pauses and silences are among the attributes of that four-minute work of the imagination, made all the more effective by Mondlak’s upwellings of contrasting intensity.

Strassmayer’s closing duet with Böhm, “Still In Her Ears,” is notable for her emotional range and the purity of her flute sound."

-Doug Ramsey - Rifftides, Arts Journal, May, 2016


released February 1, 2016

Karolina Strassmayer - alto saxophone, compositions
Drori Mondlak - drums, composition
Rainer Böhm - piano
John Goldsby - bass



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Karolina Strassmayer & Drori Mondlak - KLARO! Köln, Germany

Performing their original compositions, KLARO! blends the romanticism of European classical and folk music and fuses it with the rhythmic fire and swing of the American jazz tradition together with the harmonic sophistication of contemporary improvised music.

The group is co-led by two critically acclaimed international artists - alto saxophonist KAROLINA STRASSMAYER, and drummer Drori Mondlak.
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