We’re sure that jazz singer Samara Joy is still flying high after winning GRAMMY gold at the annual ceremony earlier this month. To be honest, we are, too. That’s because the rest of the world is finally catching up on just how talented the young songstress is. Her wins also give a reason for her label, Verve Records, to give us new versions of songs from her award-winning album Linger Awhile. One new take was a version of “Can’t Get Out Of This Mood,” which paired her with pianist Gerald Clayton and resulted in musical magic. The pair team up once again to give a new take on another album track, “Sweet Pumpkin.”
This new version of “Sweet Pumpkin,” a standard originally composed and performed by Ronnell Bright, subs in Gerald’s effortless piano where Pasquale Grasso’s guitar playing appeared on the original take. It also strips away the other instruments, making this a true duo of piano and voice. The change automatically draws attention to Samara and the many vocal textures she provides to the sweet, sentimental lyrics of the song.
That’s not to say that Gerald Clayton doesn’t hold his own. The jazz pianist, a GRAMMY nominee several times over himself, sets the tone and keeps up with Samara’s moods, changes and inflections nimbly. He also gets to show off with a virtuosic solo before the track’s end that keeps the song’s loving feeling flying high.
It’s plain to see that we’re enamored with Samara Joy and her collaborations with Gerald Clayton are only making us fall deeper. Take a listen to “Sweet Pumpkin” when you press play and then stick around to listen to their previous collaboration “Can't Get Out Of This Mood.”