It was a jazz gig and we were all receiving a class in how to dip and wine by tune four, this was not your average female jazz vocalist.
Giving credit to her musicians after every song and almost in tears after her rendition of ‘Between Two Worlds,' a song inspired by her grandmother’s sentiment of being drawn between homes in Jamaica and Britain, Zara Macfarlane was the most sonically delicious humble jazz pie. Her vocals were not the perfect result of years of training and singing, but an understanding of how to harness every sound experienced and channel it through the voice. She whipped up in the air around her not just a sound but a story in a single note. Having been doing this for years now she danced us through the history of her love affair with music playing songs new and old and rounding up with ‘All Africa’ a call to the ancient nature of human life on earth.
As for the makers of rhythm and melody, they shook your pout from the base of your spine with warm rippling groove and artistry that was raspberry topped maple syrup for the soul. The double bass players solo was a highlight, and with the stage to himself he shredded every last speck of dust off a typical jazz bass solo and plucked something dripping in fresh out of the well-worn air around him.
With a smile that stretched across the stage, she greeted everyone after the gig with a warmth that was tangible even after we’d left the venue. Zara Macfarlane - there’s something going on.
Photography: EFG London Jazz Festival