If You Knew Her

If You Knew Her

by Zara McFarlane
     
 

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The title doesn't refer strictly to its maker. MOBO-nominated jazz producer, songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Zara McFarlane: "This album is dedicated to all the strong, beautiful women who have touched my life with their strength, courage, empathy, humour, wisdom & love." Those women seem to have had the greatest effect on McFarlane originals like the

Overview

The title doesn't refer strictly to its maker. MOBO-nominated jazz producer, songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Zara McFarlane: "This album is dedicated to all the strong, beautiful women who have touched my life with their strength, courage, empathy, humour, wisdom & love." Those women seem to have had the greatest effect on McFarlane originals like the burning ballad "Woman in the Olive Groves" and the particularly gorgeous "Her Eyes," in which McFarlane's breezy melodies resemble those of '70s Stevie Wonder. Some of the arrangements are stripped to bare essentials. Those happen to occur during the album's most emotionally vulnerable moments. "Open Heart" begins the album in arresting style with hypnotic hang drums, a low double-bass thrum, and McFarlane's wounded, wise vocals. On "You'll Get Me in Trouble," McFarlane accompanies herself on barely strummed acoustic guitar: "It's too late, my heart's already seen your smile." While the eight originals could form a rich 35-minute album, the three non-originals here stun, too. There's a bewitching "Plain Gold Ring" closer to restrained Nina Simone than showy Kimbra, a version of Junior Murvin's "Police & Thieves" that makes like a missing ice-and-fire cut off Dee Dee Bridgewater's Afro Blue, and top standout "Angie La La" (aka "Ay Ay Ay Ay"), barely recognizable. The last of the trio, originally written and produced by reggae giant Duke Reid for Nora Dean, is converted into a dancing and feverish duet -- anchored by Gavin Barras' double bass and enlivened by Rachel Gladwin's harp -- with an excellent pairing in trumpeter and vocalist Leron Thomas. As with Until Tomorrow, McFarlane produced the whole thing -- an understated yet dazzling second album that is more imaginative than the impressive first.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/11/2014
Label:
Brownswood
UPC:
5060180321932
catalogNumber:
1
Rank:
107829

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zara McFarlane   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Vocals
Leron Thomas   Piano
Luke Flowers   Double Bass
Rachael Gladwin   Harp
Gavin Barras   Harp,Double Bass
Binker Golding   Tenor Saxophone
Taz Modi   Drums
Andy Chapman   Drums
Peter Edwards   Piano
Moses Boyd   Drums
Max Luthert   Bass

Technical Credits

Junior Murvin   Composer
Troy Miller   Engineer
George Atkins   Engineer
Gilles Peterson   Executive Producer
Toni Economides   Additional Production
J. Hammer   Composer
Liam Nolan   Engineer
Brendan Williams   Engineer
Zara McFarlane   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Alex Stevenson   Arranger

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