ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

Ask­ing an artist to give an “el­e­va­tor pitch” about their al­bum is a bit of a clas­sic in the mu­sic-re­portage game—it’s a nice soft­ball ques­tion to get things rolling.

Norah Jones is hav­ing none of it. “I don’t think that’s my job,” says the singer baldly, not smil­ing, from her seat in a Toronto ho­tel room. “You lis­ten to it and come up with your own opin­ions; I can’t con­trol what every­one is think­ing.” That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have opin­ions about what peo­ple write about her—in par­tic­u­lar, the mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als that ac­com­pa­nied her new al­bum, Day Breaks. “I mean, I ap­prove the press re­lease, but I’m al­ways like, ‘It’s corny,’” she says. “And do we have to keep say­ing ‘re­turn to roots’? That’s not in­ac­cu­rate, but it’s not the whole she­bang.”

The re­turn Jones is re­fer­ring to is this: Af­ter four years of no solo mu­sic (a time she filled with hav­ing two kids and being in an alt-coun­try band, the Lit­tle Wil­lies), the 37-year-old is re­leas­ing an al­bum heav­ily based on the pi­ano play­ing that made the “Come Away With Me” singer the great hope of jazz mu­sic in the early ’00s.

“What’s ac­tu­ally unique about this al­bum is that all the songs were writ­ten on the pi­ano,” says Jones. “I usu­ally write on the gui­tar.” The re­sult is an al­bum—which, from be­gin­ning to end, is soul­ful, thought­ful and de­lib­er­ately low-key, much like Jones her­self—that you will turn to on slow Novem­ber morn­ings. (“Don’t Be De­nied,” in par­tic­u­lar, pairs well with the bub­bling sound of cof­fee per­co­lat­ing.) n

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