by Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

At 21, the vocalist Samara Joy has been approaching the jazz spotlight since she won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The close precision and frothy power of her voice stand out immediately, and on her self-titled debut album, so does the depth of her comfort within the jazz tradition. “It Only Happens Once” is a rarely played tune, best known for Nat King Cole’s dreamy 1943 version, but she tucks right into it, as if she’s been singing the song her whole life.

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