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Zara McFarlane - Arise

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Arise

Zara McFarlane

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On If You Knew Her, Zara McFarlane reworked Junior Murvin and Lee "Scratch" Perry's "Police & Thieves" and Duke Reid's Nora Dean-fronted "Angie La La," reggae classics that further exhibited the jazz vocalist's genetic and artistic connections to Jamaica. For her more adventuresome follow-up and third album overall, Arise, McFarlane digs deeper into her Afro-Caribbean roots with much of the same crew from her prior sessions, led by drummer and producer Moses Boyd with the likes of saxophonist Binker Golding and pianist Peter Edwards. This time, McFarlane and company reconfigure "Peace Begins Within" into a driving, tightly controlled post-bop groove with the singer's upper register deployed in the chorus to dazzling effect, as moving here as it is in the Dean original. For the Congos' "Fisherman," accompanied primarily by only strings and piano, McFarlane proves that bass pressure isn't required to provide weight. It's somewhat ironic, then, that two of the album's finest originals -- burning perseverance anthems "Fussin' and Fightin'" and "Freedom Chain" -- are reggae to the core, translatable from an intimate hideout to a sound system. Other moments travel far afield from McFarlane's prior sessions. Not one of them is disposable. "Silhouette" leads with almost four minutes of Shabaka Hutchings' bass clarinet wisps, with McFarlane arriving toward the end to substantively honor her cultural lineage. "Allies or Enemies" is a quietly accosting fusion of scat singing, doo wop, and folk, while "Stoke the Fire" -- the most illuminating evidence of the singer's versatility -- is an intricately layered soul-rock ballad of sorts. The program unfortunately doesn't include McFarlane's update of Max Roach and Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "All Africa," the 10" and digital release of which preceded the album by three months.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Arise

Zara McFarlane

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1
Ode to Kumina
00:01:01

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Backing Vocals - David Wehinm, Backing Vocals - Nathaniel Cross, Trombone - Moses Boyd, Producer, Backing Vocals - Pete Edwards, Backing Vocals - Shirely Tetteh, Backing Vocals

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

2
Pride
00:04:23

Shabaka Hutchings, Bass Clarinet - Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass - Moses Boyd, Producer, Drums - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

3
Fussin' and Fightin'
00:05:05

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass, Claps - David Wehinm, Claps - Moses Boyd, Producer, Drums, Claps - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards, Claps - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar, Claps

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

4
Peace Begins Within
00:04:09

Nora Dean, Composer - Zara McFarlane, Producer, Arranger, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass - Moses Boyd, Producer, Arranger, Drums - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

5
Stoke the Fire
00:04:28

Paul Simm, Composer - Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass - Moses Boyd, Composer, Producer, Drums, Djembe - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

6
Freedom Chain
00:04:29

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Moses Boyd, Composer, Producer, Drums - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

7
Riddim (Interlude)
00:01:29

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Moses Boyd, Composer, Producer

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

8
Allies or Enemies
00:04:04

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Shane Beales, Acoustic Guitar - Moses Boyd, Producer - Peter Eckford, Percussion

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

9
In Between Worlds
00:04:24

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Moses Boyd, Producer, Drums - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

10
Silhouette (feat. Shabaka Hutchings)
00:05:24

Shabaka Hutchings, Bass Clarinet, FeaturedArtist - Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Moses Boyd, Composer, Producer, Drums - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

11
Fisherman
00:03:59

Cedric Myton, Composer - Roydel Johnson, Composer - Watty Burnett, Composer - Zara McFarlane, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass - Moses Boyd, Producer, Drums, Djembe - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

12
Ode to Cyril
00:03:03

Zara McFarlane, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Binker Golding, Tenor Saxophone - Max Luthert, Double Bass, Backing Vocals - David Wehinm, Backing Vocals - Moses Boyd, Producer, Drums, Backing Vocals - Peter Eckford, Percussion - Pete Edwards, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Shirely Tetteh, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2017 Brownswood Recordings ℗ 2017 Brownswood Recordings

Album Description

On If You Knew Her, Zara McFarlane reworked Junior Murvin and Lee "Scratch" Perry's "Police & Thieves" and Duke Reid's Nora Dean-fronted "Angie La La," reggae classics that further exhibited the jazz vocalist's genetic and artistic connections to Jamaica. For her more adventuresome follow-up and third album overall, Arise, McFarlane digs deeper into her Afro-Caribbean roots with much of the same crew from her prior sessions, led by drummer and producer Moses Boyd with the likes of saxophonist Binker Golding and pianist Peter Edwards. This time, McFarlane and company reconfigure "Peace Begins Within" into a driving, tightly controlled post-bop groove with the singer's upper register deployed in the chorus to dazzling effect, as moving here as it is in the Dean original. For the Congos' "Fisherman," accompanied primarily by only strings and piano, McFarlane proves that bass pressure isn't required to provide weight. It's somewhat ironic, then, that two of the album's finest originals -- burning perseverance anthems "Fussin' and Fightin'" and "Freedom Chain" -- are reggae to the core, translatable from an intimate hideout to a sound system. Other moments travel far afield from McFarlane's prior sessions. Not one of them is disposable. "Silhouette" leads with almost four minutes of Shabaka Hutchings' bass clarinet wisps, with McFarlane arriving toward the end to substantively honor her cultural lineage. "Allies or Enemies" is a quietly accosting fusion of scat singing, doo wop, and folk, while "Stoke the Fire" -- the most illuminating evidence of the singer's versatility -- is an intricately layered soul-rock ballad of sorts. The program unfortunately doesn't include McFarlane's update of Max Roach and Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "All Africa," the 10" and digital release of which preceded the album by three months.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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