(US Sweet Mimosa CD, 2007)
1) Moving Along (featuring Jean Caze) 2) Lights On 3) Untitled 4) Driving 5) Claim Me
6) No Umbrella 7) River 8) Halfway 9) Do It Again 10) Morning
My definite favourite album of the month is this debut set by Nina Vidal, whose
music and style is really a breath of fresh air. She cites artists like Antonio
Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis, Anita Baker, Sade and Nina Simone as her sources
of influence, and you can easily hear that by listening to Nina's rich
mixture of soul and jazz sounds. Nina herself descibred her style in her interview on
the Jazz-Not-Jazz site as follows: "My music is for anyone who can relate to it.
It's for soul-lovers, folk-lovers, jazz-lovers, and plain old lovers!
It's sensuous and warm. It's rich and velvety."
I immediately fell in love with the unforgettable opening track Moving Along,
one of the finest gems of 2007. It is based on a mellow acoustic bass line (by
Lonnie Plaxico who has played with Al Jarreau, Rachelle Ferrell,
Stanley Turrentine, Lonnie Liston Smith, Cassadra Wilson etc.),
Nina's own piano playing and Jean Caze's gorgeous flugelhorn soloing.
The melody sounds like an instant classic, and the lyrics are as elegant as the
overall atmosphere. Timeless masterpiece!
Luckily, it's not the only shining track on display here. The noble,
string-laden ballad Driving is very similar in its tone and feel to Moving Along.
No Umbrella has an intensive piano backdrop over which Nina delivers her beautiful
melody - all songs on the album are self-written by Nina. Claim Me is an
intimate, gentle ballad.
Nina's 2005 single Do It Again has been compared to
the Naked Music releases like Aquanote, and it indeed has that kind
of ethereal feel to it. However, more to my personal taste are again the songs with jazzy
real instrumentation, such as the pulsating, bass- and percussion-driven swayer
Lights On or the jazzy uptempo mover Untitled, which demonstrates
Nina's lively piano playing.
If you want to listen to the sound samples of Nina's CD, just visit her
MySpace page at
Anyone who admires artists like Gabriela Anders, Janita or Sade will be
Soul Express, editor