Apr 26 2016

Carol Saboya: Carolina

Like Father, Like Daughter

CarolinaFour years have passed since we last heard Carol Saboya (Rio de Janeiro, 1975) on a full solo recording. Her 2012 Belezas – The Music of Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento was her US debut following several previous album recorded and distributed in Brazil and Japan. After that 2012 release, we also heard Carol featured just a year ago in Copa Village, a delightful collaboration with her father Antonio Adolfo and harmonica/vibraphone player Hendrik Meurkens. Now she is about to release a new solo album, due out in May 2016. The album is appropriately titled Carolina, her birth name.

Carolina is a collection of ten tracks that include eight songs from composers as diverse as PIxinguinha and Djavan and two others sung in English. With a perfect pitch and crystal clear voice, Carol Saboya covers this eclectic repertoire with the anticipated ease and artistry exhibited in her previous releases. She is backed by an incredible band that features Antonio Adolfo on piano (he also produced and arranged all tracks), Marcelo Martins on flutes and soprano sax, Leo Amuedo on guitars, Jorge Helder on double bass, Rafael Barata on drums and percussion, André Siqueira on percussion and special guest Cláudio Spiewak on acoustic guitar in “Faltando um Pedaço.” In all tracks, Marcelo Martins’ flutes offer a smooth sound that so well matches Carol’s voice. Together with the rest of the ensemble, the music we hear is pure joy and bossa pleasure.

Antonio Carlos Jobim is present with three songs: “Passarim,” “A Felicidade” and “Olha, Maria.” “A Felicidade” is played in a very straightforward arrangement. However, in the end, Carol’s voice echoes “tristeza não tem fim” (sadness is endless) with only Rafael Barata‘s drum accompaniment. That’s a very poignant closing. The longing in Carol’s voice is accentuated by Rafael’s rubato drum. By the same token, it was a good choice to include lesser known pieces such as “Passarim” and “Olha, Maria.” In particular, “Olha Maria” highlights Marcelo’s soprano sax solo that will knock your socks off. He is solid!

The 2015 Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Djavan, is represented with two songs: “Avião” and “Faltando um Pedaço.” The former is a perfect song for a jazzier arrangement including some great key changes and plenty of swing, whereas the latter goes  introspective taking full advantage of this love song atmosphere. The arrangement is mostly a piano and voice rendition, but guest guitarist Cláudio Spiewak and Rafael Barata join in adding more depth and sentiment to a very touching performance.

The remainder of the repertoire includes the two non-Brazilian songs. “Hello Goodbye” and “Fragile,” along with Pixinguinha’s classic soccer choro “1×0” (arguably the first song written about soccer in Brazil), João Bosco and Belchior’s gorgeous “Senhora do Amazonas” and a stunning closer with Edu Lobo‘s “Zanzibar.” This baião features Carol making her voice another instrument. The fast tempo is breathtaking and a perfect closing for a fine album.

Carolina was overdue both for Carol’s fans and those only now getting to know this excellent performer. Although we were presented with some of her vocals last year (Copa Village), it is a welcome addition to have a new solo album by Carol Saboya. She is in fine form — as always! — and definitely honors the good genes in her heritage.

For more about this release, please visit Carol Saboya on the web.



Carol Saboya
AAM Music AAM 0709 (2016)
Time: 45’40”


  1. Passarim (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  2. 1 x 0 (Pixinguinha – Benedito Lacerda – Nelson Ângelo)
  3. Senhoras do Amazonas (João Bosco – Belchior)
  4. Hello Goodbye (John Lennon – Paul McCartney)
  5. Avião (Djavan)
  6. Fragile (Sting)
  7. A Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
  8. Olha, Maria (Antonio Carlos Jobim – Chico Buarque – Vinícius de Moraes)
  9. Faltando um Pedaço (Djavan)
  10. Zanzibar (Edu Lobo)