A Free Step: The Music of John Carter
Ab Baars Trio
"Ab Baars was a student and colleague of John Carter from the late ’80s until the great composer-clarinetist died in ’91. Baars obviously learned some big lessons given the Amsterdam-based clarinetist-tenor saxophonist’s excellent interpretations of 10 of Carter’s most technically treacherous and deeply moving compositions on A Free Step. Baars’ use of such Carter clarinet signatures as a piercing tone in the high register, skittering, largely chromatic runs and visceral overtones repeatedly bear an uncanny likeness to his mentor’s. But Baars is clearly pursuing his own voice through this demanding, rewarding material; in this regard, his outings on tenor provide a necessary contrast. His colleagues are well-suited for the project: Wilbert de Joode is a powerful bass player, whose work is often strongly felt before the notes are fully articulated in the mind; and Martin van Duynhoven is a solid ensemble player who pushes the music with shrewd cross rhythms. They are a trio that does justice to the music of John Carter."
Party At The Bimhuis
Ab Baars Trio & Guests
""Concision and concentrated emotion commingle with technical proficiency at a quite rarefied level throughout. Discipline and definitude are combined with a sometimes-dizzying willingness to explore uncharted territory in a thoroughly engaging fashion. Baars can be bracingly abstract at times - particularly on clarinet - then turn around and prod your viscera with tenor playing nakedly ardent enough to give Gene Ammons a run for his money. … Discipline and definitude are combined with a sometimes-dizzying willingness to explore uncharted territory in a thoroughly engaging fashion. ... Party at the Bimhuis is a brilliant recording." Bill Barton, Sudden Thoughts CD Reviews credits "
Ab Baars Trio + Rosewell Rudd
"...If you are accustomed to the eclectic, dissonant and perhaps even sometimes bullying Baars language, then you’ll find some true gems on the album Four. The group interaction and the improvisations are of an exceptionally high level. Rudd fits perfectly with the trio; together they form a real quartet.” Kees Stevens Parool 31/7/2001"
Baars Henneman Mengelberg
""And Mengelberg, the patient, pensive wit, picks his moments to enter, ruminates on the voicings of his chords so that each conveys a different shade of feeling, adding a touch of jazz here or late Romanticism there. Quite often, he is the tonal anchor of the improvisations, while Henneman and Baars daub color and asymmetric lines around him. The contrasts are stark, even surreal at times, but there’s always a sense that they are walking together arm in arm through this unusual musical landscape." -Ed Hazell"
Catalytic Quarterly Issues 1-4 (2018)
"In a very limited quantity of 30 hand-numbered sets, we present the first four issues of the Catalytic Quarterly collected in an envelope designed by our own Federico Peñalva. From Ken Vandermark's first article on the challenges of 21st-century sustainability to Mat's Gustafsson's collected Discaholic's Corner notes and everything in between from Ig Henneman, Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels, Paal Nilssen-Love, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, Nate Wooley, Ab Baars, Elisabeth Harnik and Tim Daisy all of our partner artists non-musical Catalytic activity is collected in this set. Get one while the stock lasts! "
Duo Baars - Henneman
"...I dare you to draw a clear line between what is written and what is not. Even in free improvisation mode, this duo is in sync. That, and the unique melodicism arising from their duets, are what makes Autumn Songs an artistic success, an example of musical perfection."
Duo Baars - Henneman
"Eminent Dutch multi-reedman Ab Baars is known to skirt the fringes of modern jazz within a variety of mechanisms. Stof presents a largely minimalist portraiture of his craftsmanship, within a tight-knit duo framework with cellist Ig Henneman. Consisting of improvisations that are occasionally embedded into structured compositional elements, the artists pursue freedom of expression throughout."