Samara Joy: “Warm in December”

Well…it’s the very last Song of the Day for 2022. As mentioned before, we’ll be off for a couple weeks and returning with an exciting batch of premieres on Monday, January 2nd. But with Christmas just over a week away now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t save the very best 2022 yuletide tune for last.

If you don’t know Bronx-born vocalist Samara Joy, hop aboard the hype train (whose existing passengers include LaKeith Stanfield and Regina King) now. At just 23, Joy’s already begun to lead a new generation of jazz royalty, thanks to a pair of incredible post-lockdown LPs. Joy’s latest, Linger Awhile, picks up where her 2021 eponymous debut left off, and marks an indoctrination into the ranks of fellow Verve virtuosos – Anita O’Day, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.

Both albums make great evergreen gifts for the vocal jazz fanatic in your family, but Samara’s not shy about her love of Christmas either. In fact she was just here in Austin last Wednesday for Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra. Joy just dropped an intimate, gospel collaboration “O Holy Night” with The McLendon Family, but considering the all-too-real risks of blackouts this coming Winter, we’re tossing “Warm in December” straight into your stocking. By nixing the clichéd cheese of sleigh bell percussion and leaving plenty of space for improv piano and sensitive dynamic shifts, “Warm in December” transcends your run-of-the-mill Christmas playlist as a contemporary jazz instant classic.

Warm in December

Samara Joy


Jack Anderson

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