When a young female artist enters the music world without taking on the American dream pop persona of Britney Spears or the rebellious femme identity of Avril Lavigne, then perhaps there is something more genuine re-awakening the ears of our supposedly image hungry media. Norah Jones, a talented singer, songwriter and pianist, who has defined her sound in the genre of jazz and something else a bit more eclectic, gave two astonishing performances that sold out both nights on July 3rd and 4th at Massey Hall.
Richard Julian opened solo on stage, but his voice and guitar tricks echoed his sense of humour and optimism through the space. Julian's musical charm was seen especially in his final song, "Good Life" from his 2002 album, Good Life.
When headliner, Norah Jones, and her highly respected band members, Lee Alexander (bassist), Kevin Breit (guitarist), Adam Levy (guitarist), Daru Oda (synthesizer and harmony vocalist) and Andrew Borger (drummer) came on, they completely transformed the stage into something different. Although they set the stage to be quite minimalistic and informal, their grand-scaled spectacular show gave off a warm and inviting feeling that is commonly felt in local coffee bar jazz jam sessions.
Jones' popular songs, "Don't Know Why" and "Come Away With Me" from her well-acclaimed album Come Away With Me, were not the only songs that were well-received from her fans – in fact, she did some very impressive cover versions of songs, like "Ride On" from AC/DC.
Although Norah Jones' style is very much jazz influenced, she has the upbeat energy of folk and the soul-moving lyrics of blues. Jones' classical style will remain timeless for years to come, and it will not fade away like our current candy-pop tunes that sell out fast but never come back.
Writer: Jamie Wong