Positioned neatly between the twin worlds of modern jazz and eclectic nu-soul, Zara’s album confirms the presence of a very special young voice on the UK scene.
The album exudes a liberal dose of subtle, stealthy swing, yet as steeped as she is in the jazz tradition, Zara has brought an eminently soul undercurrent to what she does, and her music will appeal to audiences weaned on Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as easily as to those more attuned to Cassandra Wilson or Dianne Reeves.
Anybody keeping an eye on the ongoing development of the British jazz scene will have noticed Zara McFarlane in the last few years. The 28 year-old London vocalist has made a string of impressive appearances with musicians who don’t choose their collaborators without careful consideration, such as Denys Baptiste, Orphy Robinson, Soweto Kinch and Jazz Jamaica All Stars to name but a few.
Blessed with a fine voice and real a strength of character in both her performance and writing, Zara’s finesse and delivery stems both from a natural gift, and from years of formal study at a very high standard. Having completed course in both Popular Music Performance at Thames Valley University and Jazz Studies at the Guildhall School of Music, she is as drawn to popular culture as she is high art, and her work to date wholeheartedly shows that she is comfortable in a wide variety of contexts. To date, her achievements include collaborations with the acclaimed house producer Bopstar, performances with South African jazz icon Hugh Masekela and the gifted British pianist and arranger Alex Wilson. With Until Tomorrow, Zara McFarlane has taken a giant step down the road to what is surely a long, illustrious career.