Home Read Classic Album Review: Norah Jones | Come Away With Me

Classic Album Review: Norah Jones | Come Away With Me

The sultry New York jazz singer-pianist arrives with her enjoyable debut disc.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


This sultry New York jazz singer-pianist is — believe it or not — the daughter of Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar.

She didn’t grow up with him, however — and I doubt she grew up listening to his music either, if her debut album is anything to go by. Come Away With Me is a supple set of mellow jazz-pop and romantically torchy ballads that set off and show off the 22-year-old prodigy’s smoky, sensual pipes and smooth, soulful delivery. Whether she’s crooning Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness Of You, pitching a left-field cover of Hank WilliamsCold Cold Heart or caressing one of several originals by her boyfriend and bassist Lee Alexander, Jones wisely eschews the diva histrionics for a placid, low-key approach that makes you think of a laid-back Nina Simone (if you’re old enough to remember her) or perhaps a less-quirky Rickie Lee Jones (if you’re not), with just a touch of Billie Holiday. Which is a fine combination any way you look at it. She may not be daddy’s girl, but he oughta be proud nonetheless.