Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Swaying And Whooping With Norah Jones
Norah Jones is one of the highest-selling female solo artists of all time. Having debuted 21 years ago with the multi-Platinum-selling Come Away With Me,
she almost single-handedly put radio-friendly jazz-country back on the musical map and earned herself a place in the hearts of millions world-wide. Now a successful podcaster, with eight studio albums and over 50 million record sales to her name, she is on the road celebrating the success of the album that propelled her to superstardom.
Photo: Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Before she takes the stage at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the audience is treated to a stripped-back opening set from former Esperanza Spalding collaborator Emily Elbert. Boasting a presence reminiscent of Natasha Lyonne and a sound that sits perfectly between Norah Jones and Katie Melua, Elbert delivers a moving performance that has the audience wanting more. Unsurprisingly, the queue at the merchandise stand to meet her was rather impressive during the interval.
Although her tour is to celebrate the album that launched her to acclaim, Norah Jones’ set takes the listener on a journey throughout her diverse career. Dressed in a sparkly full-length cardi-jacket and shiny silver boots, she is the slick professional with the faultless vocal. Although her set centres on the music, the fleeting moments of insight into the person behind the music make the night even more special.
Photo: Shervin Lainez
Although there are some surprise inclusions, most notably the impressive Country Rock of Puss N Boots song Don’t Know What It Means
, her set features every song a fan could wish to hear. Little Broken Hearts
is still striking, and Sunrise
gets the heart melting. However, it is in the two early hits—Come Away With Me
and Show Closer, Don’t Know Why
– that the audience sways and whoops the most.