Monday, January 31, 2011

Mad About Music Monday - Norah Jones' ... Featuring

If you recall, a while back we told you about the trip-hop beginnings of jazz's virtuoso Norah Jones. She began her music career in New York City's Wax Poetic (as we wrote about in Oct. '10) and those groovy beats from her past definitely resurface in this week's Mad About Music post about her latest album.

To attempt to peg her style is next to impossible. Jazz? Folk? Rock? Country? Trip-Hop? Ms. Jones displays of these styles in a compilation of songs recorded between 2001 and 2010 entitled,  ... Featuring.

While being interviewed in August by PBS' own Tavis Smiley she touched on her eclectic background as well as her ever-evolving style:

Tavis: So we've talked about country, we've talked about jazz and a few other things in this conversation. Thanks to the record company I haven't had to go to the store to actually buy this. They sent me a couple of these. But if I went to the record store, do you have any idea now where they're putting Norah Jones music by category?
Jones: ... I don't know. I have people all the time be like, "Oh, I love jazz because of you." I'm like, "Well, that's cool, but I don't even know - here, check out 'Kind of Blue' or check out Billie Holiday. That's real jazz." I don't know what I do. I wouldn't call it jazz, but I wouldn't call it a lot of things.
Tavis: Do you like the idea that you don't know and that you're not bothered by where they place you in the record store, as opposed to being stuck in a particular category?
Jones: It doesn't bother me anymore. I think the more you do, the less you care about stuff like that. Categorizing stuff isn't really that important, but it's the way it is. People do it anyway. I've heard people call me a songwriter or just a jazz singer or a folk rock, country singer. I don't know.
Tavis: Just Norah Jones.
Jones: Yeah. Everybody has a different take, I guess.

Norah happily flexes her indistinguishable fluidity through musical pairings with the likes of Willie Nelson, Belle and Sebastian, Herbie Hancock, including amazing tracks with the Foo Fighters, Dolly Parton, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli and Outkast. All of these artists and more are featured on the appropriately titled ... Featuring. Norah is not necessarily the primary artist on each track which provides another reenforcement of the aptly named album title.

Our favorite track is a slow song from the second disc of the Foo Fighters' fifth studio album released in 2005 called Virginia Moon. The latin flavor of the song mixed with a soothing blend of Dave Grohl and a whispery Norah take you away to a quiet beach or an empty Spanish plaza in your mind as you sway its rhythm. So without further ado we'd like you to enjoy one of the tracks from Norah Jones' latest ... Featuring. 

*On a side note, Norah recently released The Fall which also furthers blurs the lines of what one could 'call' Ms. Jones' music. Check out the first single, "Chasing Pirates" here.*

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