Zara McFarlane - If You Knew HerBrownswood Recordings
UK jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane made waves with her 2011 debut Until Tomorrow and her new album, If You Knew Her is even stronger. Angie La La is the first track to grab my attention, a firing dancer which sees Zara using an impressive vocal technique which comes off like a warbling bird. It also features trumpeter/vocalist Lebron Thomas whose rich baritone vocal delivery interplays with Zara’s voice beautifully. There’s a delightful take on Junior Murvin’s reggae classic Police & Thieves, plus the stunning waltz The Games We Played on which Zara is accompanied by piano only. It’s so simple but so powerful it stopped me in my tracks. In a similar vein and with the same impact is Love, the album’s closing track, but touch down anywhere on this set and you’re in for a real treat.
Andy Allen, 03/14