Editors’ Notes Zara McFarlane has the chops to thrive within the confines of contemporary jazz, and the vision to frequently venture beyond. It’s a subtly effective dance that finds her transforming reggae classics (2014’s “Police & Thieves”) into torch songs, and album-length suites (2020’s Songs of an Unknown Tongue) into jazz odysseys fuelled by quiet-storm soul, African polyrhythms and what sounds like astral projections. She’s similarly gifted as a vocalist and lyricist, grasping the intangibles of love and identity, converting them into trilling cries and pure tones, and then—though it happens too fast to witness—setting them loose to dance freely.

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