Once-in-a-generation vocalist Samara Joy has signed with Verve Records, and will release Linger Awhile, her full-length debut for the label, on Friday 16th September. At just 22 years old, Samara has already garnered critical acclaim for a voice “as rich as custard” (The New York Times) and a delivery that is “disarming [and] unhurried” (NPR Fresh Air), just as she has built a devoted following on TikTok and made avowed fans of Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, and others. The Bronx native took home the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition prize while still in college and performed on The Today Show earlier this year. Hailed as an “exciting boundary-stretcher” by the (The Boston Globe), Samara also made her “glowing, auspicious debut” (NPR) at the Newport Jazz Festival last weekend, earning multiple standing ovations in the process.
Linger Awhile finds Samara updating beloved songs with a modern twist, sometimes singing original lyrics using the melodies of famous instrumental solos, a style known as vocalese. Recorded at Sear Sound in New York City and featuring exemplary musicianship by Pasquale Grasso (guitar), Ben Paterson (piano), David Wong (double bass), and Kenny Washington (drums), the tracklist is comprised of reinvented classics including “Someone to Watch Over Me” (George Gershwin), “'Round Midnight” (Thelonious Monk), and “Nostalgia (The Day I Knew)” (Fats Navarro). Linger Awhile not only highlights Samara’s timeless vocals and a musical wisdom beyond her years, it also introduces this foundational popular music to a fresh audience.