It seems like I'm familiar with this dance. An album is released by a highly touted young female singer to a blizzard of marketing and PR. While I am almost numb to it by now, having had Diana Krall and Jane Monheit forced into my musical consciousness. So here comes 22 year old pianist Norah Jones surprisingly living up to most of the hype by cross-pollenating pop tunes, jazz, and country. It is music on the opposite end of the musical spectrum than Krall, and one that Monheit shows signs of gravitating towards as her career grows.
In informing her music with myriad influences, Jones most closely resembles her Blue Note labelmate, Cassandra Wilson. Her debut album Come Dream With Me
is a solid collection of songs written by Jones, her bandmates, and a couple of tasty covers. Produced by the Legendary Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield), Come Dream With Me
is like a slow drive in the country: scenic, relaxing, full of twists, and ends way too soon. The music itself sounds more pop-oriented: Jones is definitely in tune with her inner Joni Mitchell and Nashville. That is one of the guilty pleasures of this album. Jones and her band are so content with their sound that they can seemingly play anything.
As part of the marketing campaign for Jones, Blue Note has Come Dream With Me
list retailed at twelve dollars, far below the average price of compact discs these days. Whether this leads to increased sales or not, it is a sign of the faith that Blue Note has in this young artist.