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Samara Joy: Linger Awhile (Verve)

15. Samara Joy Linger Awhile (Verve)

Samara Joy’s sophomore album authenticates the meteoric 22-year-old singer’s prowess and seemingly natural style that prompts associations with Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington. Her lush, unpretentious alto doesn’t require a great song to excel, but her warmth, sensitivity, and stalwart band accompaniment take command for well-known standards “Guess Who I Saw Today,” “Misty,” “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)” and “’Round Midnight.” CHRIS J. WALKER