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If You Knew Her

Zara McFarlane

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

London-based singer Zara McFarlane stands out from the crowded field of young singers in the global jazz scene; she writes much of her own material, an all-too-rare asset among jazz vocalists. As with her first album, her second effort is an earthy blend of slow to midtempo post-bop tunes that are stripped to their very essence with piano and/or bass carrying the songs on their own. When she does add in drums and horns, the tension of those taunt arrangements are cathartically released; “Her Eyes” sounds positively lush in a piano trio setting. She also adds elements of African music (“Open Heart”) and Caribbean music (a cover of Junior Murvin’s reggae classic “Police and Thieves”) that further the stark spell she weaves. Other standouts include “Plain Gold Ring” (with a fine guest turn on trumpet and vocals by Leron Thomas) and a dramatic, outward-leaning sax solo on “Woman in the Olive Groves” by Binker Golding. It all points to a rosy present and future for this promising singer/composer.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful Album

Discovered this on Soundcloud. Gorgeous from BEGINNING to END. Love her voice, and the classic jazz sound laid over modern interpretations of a beloved genre.

Love it

Discovered Zara on "Later with Jools Holland." Great voice. Excellent backing musicians who are given enough room to explore a little. For me, a breath of fresh air.

Biography

Born: Dagenham, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s

Born to Jamaican parents in Dagenham, England, jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane grew up listening to reggae and R&B. At the age of 14, she made her first appearance on television when she performed a Lauryn Hill song on the program Stars in Their Eyes. She attended the BRIT School, the University of West London's Tech Music School, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she developed her love for jazz. Her first recordings, however, were done with house act Bopstar ("Chiaroscuro," "Captured")....
Full Bio
If You Knew Her, Zara McFarlane
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