Norah Jones came to the Queen City last Thursday and I jumped at the opportunity to see her. I’m familiar with her as an artist but not too familiar with her entire music catalog. I jumped on the opportunity to explore her sound in the intimate setting of the Taft Theatre and see her up close. The crowd was filled with people who knew much more of her songs which was evident by their roaring applause when she’d start to play one of their favorites. I along with most people first heard of her back in 2002 when she released her debut album “Come away with me”. The song “Don’t know why” must have been played a billion times that year on the radio. It also helped her win 8 Grammy Awards for that album, including Best New Artist. I do own her first album but I really missed out on not continuing to follow her career since the early 2000’s. In 2016 she released her 6th studio album entitle day Breaks.
The lights dimmed and she came out and sat in front of a baby grand piano and the Taft erupted. The place was packed and I noticed only a handful of empty seats. Her songs have a bluesy/jazzy feel and her soulful vocals added just the perfect touch. I really enjoyed the sound of the standup bass when it was used during the night. I also realized how cool of an instrument the steel guitar is as it added a lot of depth to songs and really made that mixture of sound have character. Throughout the evening Norah would pick up different instruments, showcasing her vast musical talents. She played the electric and acoustic guitar, along with the piano and various keyboards. I really enjoyed when she let her voice shine though, and for the record her voice is amazing! Most of the songs she sang were soul inspired slow tunes. So when she did let go on a few and let her voice take center stage it was a nice touch. Her music has feeling and substance and when she is sitting at her piano and playing a song you can really feel the emotions that make her such a respectable artist. I remember I leaned over and whispered “we’ve been sleeping on Norah Jones!” and my wife agreed.
One of the highlights of the evening is when she played a song in which every instrument had its time to standout. It started with her piano solo and then led to the steel guitar solo. That then led to the bass solo and ended with the electric guitar solo. She must have played for about an hour or so and the time really flew by. Norah seemed to play songs from all the different albums as you could hear the progression. Some songs were really laid back and made you feel like you went back in time to the days when Jazz music was king. Then some songs had an almost bluesy country vibe to them. I truly enjoyed all the songs she performed that evening.
When the band walked off stage everyone was on their feet. After maybe 2 minutes of toying with the crowd they all returned to the stage and finished the night out with 3 or 4 more songs. There was never a dull or boring moment during this show and I was glad I got the chance to see her and the band perform live. This was a great concert and anyone who attended would agree. The next time she comes to Cincinnati you should make it point to see her live. If you are looking for a new artist to listen too or even if you’re a fan already, please go listen to Norah Jones. You won’t be disappointed with what you hear.