In the podcast today we are concentrating on Bronx singer Samara Joy and Linger Awhile (Verve, just released 5-stars) which catapults Joy into a new league of her own having made a splash last year - on which read 'Sensational Samara.'
We see her as the first highly retro singer of the classic calibre of Cécile McLorin Salvant and Jazzmeia Horn to come along in a while emerging from the US scene to connect with international audiences. In terms of style think a Dianne Reeves with a hearty dash of Sarah Vaughan within the recipe of Joyousness recalibrated for the 2020s.
Linger Awhile has 10 songs and these were recorded at Sear Sound in New York City produced by Matt Pierson (Wish, Moodswing). In the band are guitarist Pasquale Grasso, pianist Ben Paterson, double bassist David Wong and drummer Kenny Washington.
The Gershwins' 'Someone To Watch Over Me' and Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight' are among the selections as is the inclusion of a version of the Elisse Boyd and Murray Grand song 'Guess Who I Saw Today' à-la-Nancy Wilson on Something Wonderful (Capitol, 1960). All in all, a winning blend.
You won't hear a better version by a singer of Erroll Garner classic 'Misty' with the Johnny Burke lyrics - and it's covered a whole lot by many fine singers - in more than 60 years oh since 1959's Sarah Vaughan ultimate treatment the more I think about it. The best male version we know is an easy listening pop hit version again in 1959 from Heavenly by the great Johnny Mathis and again the Joy stands tall in such august company. SG
Samara Joy, photo: detail from the Linger Awhile cover