Count your blessings: 1/ the known, German jazz pianist Julia as in Hülsmann; 2/ the promise of the future, another Julia as in Kadel, new to a British jazz club audience soon.
They may share a first name and play the same instrument, but come from different parts of Germany: Hülsmann was born in Bonn, the old Federal Republic capital; Kadel is from Berlin. Their styles are easily distinguishable from one another's, Hülsmann more of an oblique chamber jazz Kurt Weill-influenced improviser, Kadel adding modernistic and avant splashes to the modern mainstream tradition, her sound reminding me of the elegant touch and ear for melody of Martin Tingvall. It’s ages since we’ve had a really special piano trio (Vijay Iyer's maybe the last truly significant one to emerge, c.Historicity especially, and of course Michael Wollny's [em] with or without Eva Kruse but especially on the albums with the bassist.) Have a listen to what Kadel is doing, above, in a brief clip taken from her rhapsodic new trio album. Touring in her homeland, she then visits London’s Vortex in June on an occasion when Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer, a hero of Kadel’s, and once a major figure in the former East German scene before the wall came down, also plays his first London gig in decades, performing in duo with the trailblazing free improviser Raymond MacDonald. Sounds like an event. Kadel has already released an earlier album Im Vertrauen (‘In Trust’) two years ago, picking up kudos with Echo nominations last year. Still little known beyond her native Germany despite her major label Universal’s marketing muscle, that may change, although British audiences take their time to get to know German jazz pianists, early adopters excepted, with only Wollny, Julia Hülsmann and Pablo Held really on jazz fans’ radar, audiences still needing to grow that bit more here. Kadel was apparently introduced to Blue Note president Don Was by Till Brönner the trumpeter who has recently signed a new long-term deal with Sony. The new record again titled in German is called Über und Unter (nothing to do with a certain Toyota Prius-loving taxi app), joined on it by Berlin bassist Karl-Erik Enkelmann and by Dresden drummer Steffen Roth.