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Wake - Up Call is Drori Mondlak’s first release as a leader of his quartet Straight Circle.

The musicians featured here were already collaborating on various projects, performing and recording together for five years when this CD was recorded. It showcases these four virtuoso musicians coming together to shape and sculpt a unique group sound both in the writing, arranging and improvisational aspects of the music.

This project was recorded at Systems Two studio in Brooklyn, New York. All musicians were situated in one room, in a great acoustical setting that allowed for the utmost interaction in a natural sound environment between the four musicians.

Four of the ten compositions were written for this recording date. The remaining tunes were arranged specifically for the CD and the musicians in mind.

Musician information:

Jazz greats like Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Frank Foster, Don Friedman and Barbara Dennerlein have employed Drori Mondlak for his exceptional skills as a creative accompanist and soloist. A presence on the New York City jazz scene since the mid 1980s, he has now made Cologne, Germany his second home, in order to participate more fully in the European creative music scene. Drori's touch, subtlety, feel and interactive approach to the music have brought him international critical acclaim on stages worldwide as well as performing and recording opportunities with many musicians, including: John Hicks, Bill Charlap, Chris Potter, Lew Tabackin, Lynne Arriale, Bucky Pizzarelli, Fritz Pauer, Tony Lakatos, Paul Heller and many more.

Voted Top Five Alto Saxophonist in the 2004 Downbeat Readers Poll, Karolina has obtained critical acclaim for her phenomenal musicianship since arriving in New York City from her native Austria. The first female member of the renowned, Grammy winning WDR (West German Radio) Big Band based in Cologne, Karolina has been commuting between the USA and Germany, quickly becoming a force on the international jazz scene. In the WDR Big Band, she has had the opportunity to perform with guest artists such as McCoy Tyner, Joe Zawinul and Joe Lovano, John Sofield.

CARY DENIGRIS has been called "one of the most incredible guitarists on the jazz scene today with an astonishing facility and depth of soul to match" (Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine). With over a decade of critically acclaimed recordings and performances under his belt, DeNigris continues to hone his unique sound and writing style. Emerging in the late '80s as a featured member of the Chico Hamilton Quartet, he continues to receive rave reviews in the US and abroad, both as a composer and player.

PAUL RAMSEY is an electric bassist that posses a big, warm, fat tone on the instrument and his walking bass feel is one in par with the great acoustic bassists. Paul has been the backbone of many swinging rhythm sections and has been a member of the Chico Hamilton Quartet for over 20 years.


released December 11, 2003

Drori Mondlak (drums)
Karolina Strassmayer (alto & soprano saxophone & flute)
Cary DeNigris (guitar)
Paul Ramsey (electric 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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