New Releases Check: Marcus, Carol, and Julia

Marcus Strickland "Nihil Novi"Saxophonist Marcus Strickland has come with a brilliant set on Revive/Blue Note called “Nihil Novi”, produced by Meshell Ndegeocello. The album features a few tracks with the wonderful Jean Baylor and also has trumpet maestro Keyon Herrold on tap. The album runs from smooth grooves to warm interludes, free-fall playing to some exceptionally well-executed vocal numbers performed by the always amazing Mrs Baylor. Highly recommended set. Marcus and his group Twi-Life sound like a modern-day version of the mid-70s Mizell Blue Note productions.

Singer Carol Saboya, daughter of composer and pianist Antonio Adolfo, has a new album out called “Carolina”. It is a well-crafted and easy on the ear set with Brazilian tunes from composers like Edu Lobo, Djavan, Jobim, and Joao Bosco. The album features a heavy use of flute and saxes, courtesy of Marcelo Martins, and a couple of pop tunes that didn’t really do it for me because they seem to be a bit too easy and bland. Both “Fragile” (Sting) and “Hello, Goodbye” (Lennon/McCartney) have too much honey on the bread. But Carol’s voice is a sympathetic one and she sounds best on Jobim classics like “A Felicidade”.

Julia Kadel Trio "Über Und Unter"German pianist Julia Kadel is back with her second Blue Note release. “Über Und Unter” shows the extremely versatile and imaginative pianist and composer in a joyous set of little paintings where you can always find something new with each listen. Her skills as a composer and freestyle improv specialist are a unique treat. Together with her bandmates Karl-Erik Enkelmann (bass) and Steffen Roth (drums), Julia’s new album is well worth several listens and more.

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