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Zara McFarlane

Eloquent and provocative singer-songwriter, Zara McFarlane, is the UK’s Black British foremost Jazz Vocalist. With two critically acclaimed albums to her name, she inhabits an unusual musical landscape, fearlessly exploring original material & reworking well known classics from the worlds of Jazz and Jamaican music. September 2017 sees her return with her third studio album “ARISE” which traces her musical heritage of the Caribbean and explores her take on the musical possibilities of British-Jamaican identity. ​ “ARISE,” which is produced by multi award-winning drummer Moses Boyd and released on Brownswood Recordings, is a product of their exploration of the meeting points between British Jazz sounds and the rhythms of Jamaica namely; Reggae, Kumina, and Nyabinghi

Songs Of An Unknown Tongue

Label: Brownswood Recordings
Released: 2020
Track listing: Everything Is Connected; Black Treasure; My Story, Broken Water; Saltwater; Run Of Your Life; State Of Mind; Native Nomad; Roots Of Freedom; Future Echoes.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Zara McFarlane: Songs Of An Unknown Tongue

Read "Songs Of An Unknown Tongue" reviewed by Chris May

It takes courage for a musician to depart from a successful recipe to the extent that the British singer and songwriter Zara McFarlane does on Songs of An Unknown Tongue. The disc is not a complete shift from the paradigm of her three previous albums, but it is a radical spin on it. ...

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Camilla George: Warrior Charge

Read "Camilla George: Warrior Charge" reviewed by Chris May

In 2017, alto saxophonist and composer Camilla George's band was the support act for a Dee Dee Bridgewater gig at the London Jazz Festival. After George had finished her set, Bridgewater, who had been listening in the wings, came onstage, took the mike, and announced: “The world is safe because we have Camilla." Others in Cadogan ...

East Of The River Nile

Label: Brownswood Recordings
Released: 2019
Track listing: East Of The River Nile; East Of The River Nile (Dub Mix); East Of The River Nile Alt. Take; East Of The River Nile Alt. Take (Dub Mix).

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra

Read "Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Chris May

Yazz Ahmed / The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra / Scott Stroman Milton Court Concert Hall Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra London November 27, 2019 Performances by student orchestras rarely qualify as must-see events. Audiences tend to be composed of fellow students and friends and ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

We Out Here: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz

Read "We Out Here: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A community of young, London-based musicians is forging a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the modern Caribbean and African cultural heritages of the majority of its vanguard players. The music also addresses the race, class ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Zara McFarlane: East Of The River Nile

Read "East Of The River Nile" reviewed by Chris May

As a teaser for her upcoming album, the divine Zara McFarlane has released a 4-track EP revisiting Jamaican dub and rockers wizard Augustus Pablo's canonical 1977 single “East Of The River Nile." McFarlane's disc, on which her wordless vocals stay close to Pablo's original melodica topline, showcases her signature blend of jazz and Caribbean music to ...


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