Not even a quarter of a century old, Samara Joy makes a splash on the Verve label with Linger Awhile, her second album. The title track, recorded a hundred years earlier by Bailey's Lucky Seven, stands out as the band (guitarist Pasquale Grasso, pianist Ben Paterson, bassist David Wong and drummer Kenny Washington) and the young Bronx singer propel through this upbeat melody at a breakneck pace.
Samara Joy's surprisingly mature voice shines on every track on this record. From cool jazz on standards like "Can't Get Out Of This Mood", "Nostalgia" and "Social Call", to a certain kind of tenderness on Monk's "Round Midnight", or even a downright personal approach in Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." Her singing is full-bodied, rich and silky, while her virtuoso vocals caress each standard with warmth and sweetness.
Samara Joy manages to update these timeless classics with a subtle modern twist, sometimes singing original lyrics using the melodies of famous instrumental solos. The result is a very stylish record that presents essential jazz standards to a younger audience while satisfying the most serious jazz aficionados.