Smoke & Honey October 5, 2002
"This is really the record I wanted to make." -Nora
Norah Jones was born in Brooklyn and raised in Dallas, Texas.
Her love for Jazz evolved while attending Dallas' Booker T.
Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She
then majored in jazz piano at the University of North Texas for
She then took a trip to New York and while this started as a
summer vacation, Norah was soon found herself hanging around
local songwriters and became inspired to write some original
"The music scene is so huge. I found it very exciting. I
especially enjoyed hearing amazing songwriters at places like
The Living Room. Everything opened up for me. I couldn't
She has performed with the Laszlo band and in Wax Poetic.
Eventually she joined a band with local songwriter Jesse Harris
where she sang and played piano.
In January 2001 she signed with Blue Note Records. This is
her first Blue Note release and was produced by Arif Mardin, Jay
Newland and Craig Street.
Norah includes classic tunes from Hank Williams', "Cold,
Cold Heart," J.D. Loudermilk's "Turn Me On," and
Hoagy Charmichael's "The nearness of You." Then she
delights with originals by her bandmates. Jesse Harris',
"Don't Know Why" and Lee Alexander, "Seven
Years" are beautiful songs that leave you so nostalgic for
the past, yet they are new songs.
She is inspired by the music of yesterday and loves Aretha
Franklin, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.
I can't believe she has just tuned 23!
Ok, so I listened to this CD about 10 times today! Here is
what I think of each song:
Don't Know Why - A slow seduction of words that evoke a
feeling of absolute longing, yet a certain resolution instead of
Seven Years - Innocence personified.
"Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin' to the ground
Without a sound"
Cold Cold Heart - Norah's voice melts this silky smooth song.
Feelin' The Same Way - Nice twisty little number that seems
to spin in circles. This song brings out the smoky elements in
Come Away With Me - The pace drops to melting snow. It is
terribly romantic as she sings of wanting to wake up with the
rain falling on a tin roof in the arms of the one she loves.
Shoot The Moon - Moody Blue Song.
Turn Me On - The pace picks up and Norah sings of a flower
waiting to bloom and a light bulb in a dark room. Cute song
actually. One of my favorites.
Lonestar - Country flavor. She wishes for a sign in the night
I've Got to See You Again - Pure seduction. Norah's voice
really comes alive in this song. I'm thinking this is what we
can look forward to in the future!
Painter Song - Fun, dreamy melody about being a painter.
French café flair fantasy about being in a painting.
One Flight Down - Almost matter-of-fact. Norah's voice is
very clear in this song and quite strong. I like trying to
figure out Jesse Harris' song with all their secret meanings.
Nightingale - Almost has a lullaby quality.
The Long Day is Over - Perhaps the slowest song, perfect to
fall asleep to.
The Nearness of You - Then, this will wake you up a bit, yet
it still has a sleepy and breathy quality.
Smooth Sexy Selections in a Dreamy World of Jazz, Soul and
Country. Nora Teases the listener with her voice, mercilessly.