Ab Baars Solo - and she speaks a collection of ballads

This solo recording, with each song dedicated to a different composer or musician, is devotional without an obligation to be faithful.... If anything, Baars displays a loving kindness here that is in short supply these days.
--Mark Corroto allaboutjazz

"... Ab Baars does a wonderful job of making every note or sound count. Once your pulse and/or expectations calm down to a more reflective state, you will feel the way this music works its way into good graces."
--Bruce Lee Gallanter (NY) DMG

"Prima solo-album van Ab Baars dat hier vast nog lang zal meegaan."
--Philippe de Cleen

Een barBaars mooie cd !
Liefhebbers en fijnproevers van avontuurlijke vrijzinnige improvisaties en meer... opgelet! Op deze cd laat Baars horen dat hij terecht cum laude oftewel met onderscheiding is afgestudeerd aan de 'hogeschool van de Free Jazz'. Wát een fascinerende en intrigerende klank- en kleurexploraties van tenorsax, clarinet en shakuhachi horen we hier. Je kunt het je haast niet voorstellen, zóveel creativiteit en luisterplezier op een schijfje van krap 12 centimeter doorsnee.....maar Ab Baars flikt het hier!
--Cees van de Ven

And She Speaks: A Collection of Ballads is one of the best examples of how Baars dispenses his granular knowledge of jazz by the grain. The titles of eight of his nine compositions contain a namesake like “Body and Soul Cerulean Blue,” “Naima Blue Saphir” and “Solitude Cadmium Yellow.” Undoubtedly, flecks of these classics - and lesser known works by Carter, Misha Mengelberg and others - are embedded in Baars' performances; but, it becomes immediately clear with each of his compositions that straining to make the most remote, tenuous connections to their inspiring works short-shrifts Baars. Some composers simply recycle jazz classics, while others repurpose them; Baars is one of the more rigorous of the latter. Baars' repurposing of ballads focuses on atmosphere instead of materials or forms. Historically, ballads deal with distance, primarily from home and love; the setting - the hues, the fragrances, everything that contributes to the ambiance a great ballad evokes - is merely a framing of that distance. Subsequently, there is an undercurrent in Baars' pieces for clarinet and tenor, pulling him away from each utterance so that he has enough distance to make the next. Pellucid, wafting pieces for shakuhachi open and mark the midway point of the program, setting both the tone and the pace of this absorbing album.
--Bill Shoemaker Point of Departure

Auf der Solo-CD and she speaks - a collection of ballads (Stichting Wig) paraphrasiert Ab Baars am Tenorsaxofon, an der Klarinette und an der Shakuhachi knapp formulierte Themen, reduziert sein Spiel häufig auf kleine, beinahe mikrotonale Abwandlungen und macht unmissverständlich klar, dass der Ton die Musik macht. Genre-übliche Missverständnisse, wie Virtuosität, Egozentrik und Muskelprotz erkennt Baars seit jeher als Sackgassen, denen großräumig auszuweichen ist. Es ist pikant und zeugt von Bewusstsein und Respekt, dass Ab Baars das kontrolliert freie Spiel der Kräfte dieser Balladensammlung Heroen seiner Vergangenheit widmet - Carter, Coltrane, Ellington, Mengelberg sowie den (mir) unbekannteren Watazumi Doso, Johnny Green, Carl T. Fischer und Oscar Levant - und im Innenteil der CD ein Gedicht von Pablo Neruda platziert.
--(felix) freiStil

AB BAARS - Solo: And She Speaks - A Collection of Ballads (Wig 27; Netherlands) Featuring Ab Baars on solo tenor sax, clarinet and shakuhachi. Reeds player Ab Baars is a longtime member of the ICP Orchestra, as well as having some 20 discs as a collaborator (with Ig Henneman, Ken Vandermark & Terrie Ex). Although Mr. Baars has con be found on some two dozen discs in duos, trios and quartets, his solo efforts are pretty rare. There is just one previous to this one in print. Mr. Baars calls this disc “A Collection of Ballads”, not picking well-known standards but composing his own pieces. Commencing with a lush, soft and haunting song called, “Saji Deep Saffron”, which Baars plays on his shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute). Mr. Baars plays two pieces on clarinet next, his sound: warm, sad, thoughtful, hypnotic, pure, elegant. The title piece has a singular, solemn, restrained sound, with Mr. Baars concentrating on each note and carefully stretching each one out, balancing them them upon the silence surrounding then. Mr. Baars seems to be weighing the effect of each note or phrase, switching to tenor, his tone is austere yet dark, carving out each mote like a sculpture in the air, even levitating at some point with some Trane or Ayler-like note-bending blasts for a piece called, “Solitude Cadmium Yellow”. When one plays solo, they are in control of every sound, hence they have to balance the notes with the space around them. It takes some time to adjust to the naked, lone sound of just one reed being played at a time. Ab Baars does a wonderful job of making every note or sound count. Once your pulse and/or expectations calm down to a more reflective state, you will feel the way this music works its way into good graces. Watching it snow all day here in Rahway, NJ (3/21/18), this disc feels like a modest soundtrack to a day where time is slowing down to a more contemplative level.
--Bruce Lee Gallanter, New York DMG