Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Jamaican-British Soul-Jazz Chanteuse Zara McFarlane Makes Debut U.S. Tour In Support Of "If You Knew Her"


Sign in to view read count
If You Knew Her, Released in Early 2014 on Peterson’s Soul-Inflected Brownswood Recordings Is Already One of 2014′s Most Acclaimed Recordings

It’s a tough task for music critics to write about a singer that genuinely knocks their socks off. Zara McFarlane is the London based singer, who, in 2011 released Until Tomorrow, a debut album that had many critics in a spin. Sure, praise came thick and fast. They spoke of a caressing voice of sparkling clarity, a voice that was warm and powerful, and of a singer who sang with childlike innocence and womanly assertiveness in equal measure. But perhaps what critics missed amongst the hail of praise, is something altogether different – the arrival of an original songwriter and performer of true stature. For McFarlane, it’s about her point of difference. What sets her apart isn’t her voice, distinctive as it is, but what she has to say as, and how she says it.

McFarlane inhabits a less trodden musical landscape. Her performance brings to mind a vocal world more akin to early Nina Simone and Roberta Flack’s ‘First Take’, than to Ella and the great American songbook. Many of her tunes possess power and an underlying spirituality reminiscent of the ‘spiritual jazz’ movement of 70’s black America.

f You Knew Her is Zara McFarlane’s follow-up album on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings. This new, emotionally charged body of work sees her blossoming as a lyrically conscious songwriter, cementing what Until Tomorrow revealed – an artist composing original songs, telling her own stories (a rarity among jazz singers), demanding attention for their daring brilliance. Eight of the eleven songs are beautifully crafted originals, which, says Zara, “collectively explores emotive stories of beauty, passion, love, vulnerability, empathy, boldness, directness and sensuality. Inspired by the many vibrant, amazing, charismatic black women in my life, it’s an album that celebrates the strength of women, from the alpha female to the housewife.”

Aside from her own compositions, the album includes some unexpected covers including a wonderful jazz reworking of “Police and Thieves”, the Junior Murvin classic. “Angie La La”, the lesser known cult classic from Nora Dean features NYC‘s Leron Thomas on trumpeter and vocals and will be the album’s first single.

Continue Reading...

Visit Website



Timely announcements from the industry.

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!