Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Karolina Strassmayer: Klaro!

The young Austrian-born alto and soprano saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer acknowledges the influence of Cannonball Adderley, so it’s no surprise that on Klaro! (KlaroMusic) she plays with that golden, slightly growly, “New York Meyer” alto sound made famous by, among others, Adderley and Phil Woods. Strassmayer’s voice is not as distinctive as her models’, nor does she exhibit quite as much control over her instrument, but she does play with the same characteristic confidence bordering on arrogance-a good thing, in my book. Her original tunes range from the neo-Bird and Diz-ish “The Sweeper” to the New Orleans-ian funk of “Grimy Grin” and other familiar stops along the way. The band (John di Martino, piano; Thomas Bramerie, bass; Drori Mondlak, drums; with special guests Ray Vega, trumpet, and Wycliffe Gordon, trombone) supports her ably, if generically. Strassmayer also plays an attractive flute; her sound is big and fat, with a wide and expressive vibrato. Resting comfortably smack in the middle of the jazz mainstream, Strassmayer’s music is delivered with conviction, passion and not a little talent.

Originally Published