The 23 year old Bronx native has evolved in the New York City jazz community, winning all its major competitions and being trained by its most prominent teachers and players. A model student, Samara Joy McLendon has cultivated this once popular, now classic art: female vocals including improvisation, with a background of swing and modern jazz, backed up this time by a quartet – piano (Ben Patterson), guitar (Pasquale Grasso), double bass (David Wong), drums (Kenny Washington). Of course, what this talented performer does today was developed between 1940 and 1960, by jazz artists who would be a hundred years old today if they were still in this dimension. Linger Awhile actually suggests the title of her second Grammy-winning 2023 album, Best Jazz Vocal Album. There is no, absolutely no alteration to the historical program of this suave alto/contralto, some of whose bass inflections are reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan’s velvety style. Samara Joy phrases and scats with elegance and sensuality, never too thick. She knows how to spare her effects by exploding at the right moment and then come back to more intimate moods. In short, the approach consists in mastering to perfection the standards of another era and, possibly, to bring to it small adjustments and a small originality through this apparent conformism. Music lovers attending the Montreal International Jazz Festival will have the opportunity to enjoy his interpretations of “Misty”,” ‘Round Midnight” or “Someone To Watch Over Me”.
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