I Dream Of Christmas Norah Jones
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- 1Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones)03:20
- 2Christmas Don't Be Late02:40
- 3Christmas Glow02:45
- 4White Christmas03:05
- 6Blue Christmas03:25
- 7It's Only Christmas Once A Year02:04
- 8You're Not Alone03:52
- 9Winter Wonderland03:33
- 10A Holiday With You02:40
- 11Run Rudolph Run03:12
- 12Christmas Time Is Here03:45
- 13What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?04:04
Info for I Dream Of Christmas
Norah Jones has been a steady voice of warmth and reassurance for nearly 20 years since her cozy 2002 debut album Come Away With Me became a familiar musical companion for millions of people around the world. Now the 9-time GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, and pianist has released her first-ever holiday album with I Dream Of Christmas, a delightful and comforting collection of timeless seasonal favorites and affecting new originals that explore the complicated emotions of our times and our hopes that this holiday season will be full of joy and togetherness.
“I’ve always loved Christmas music but never had the inclination to make a holiday album until now,” Norah says. “Last year I found myself listening to James Brown’s Funky Christmas and Elvis’s Christmas Album on Sunday’s during lockdown for a sense of comfort. In January 2021, I started thinking about making a Christmas album of my own. It gave me something fun to work on and look forward to.”
On the album’s opening track, Norah’s original “Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones),” she expresses a deep desire for holiday cheer and companionship. “I wanna hear the music play / I wanna dance and laugh and sway / I wanna happy holiday for Christmas.”
“When I was trying to figure out which direction to take, the original songs started popping in my head,” Norah explains. “They were all about trying to find the joys of Christmas, catching that spark, that feeling of love and inclusion that I was longing for during the rest of the year. Then there are all the classics that have that special nostalgia that can hit you no matter who or where you are in life. It was hard to narrow down, but I picked favorite classics that I knew I could make my own.”
Among the album’s many pleasures are Norah’s playful reinvention of The Chipmunk’s “Christmas Don’t Be Late” by David Seville (aka Ross Bagdasarian), which is given a languid beat and swaggering horns. Other highlights include sublime versions of “White Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Christmas Time Is Here.”
I Dream Of Christmas was produced by Leon Michels, and features an excellent cast of musicians including Brian Blade on drums, Tony Scherr and Nick Movshon on bass, Russ Pahl on pedal steel guitar, Marika Hughes on cello, Dave Guy on trumpet, Raymond Mason on trombone, and Michels on saxophone, flute, percussion, and more.
Sultry vocalist and pianist Norah Jones developed her unique blend of jazz and traditional vocal pop with hints of bluesy country and contemporary folk due in large part to her unique upbringing. Born March 30, 1979, in New York City, the daughter of Ravi Shankar quietly grew up in Texas with her mother. While she always found the music of Billie Holiday and Bill Evans both intriguing and comforting, she didn't really explore jazz until attending Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During high school, Jones won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition in 1996, and earned a second Best Jazz Vocalist award in 1997. Putting her vocal talents on the back burner, Jones worked toward earning a degree in jazz piano at the University of North Texas for two years before accepting a friend's offer of a summer sublet in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1999.
Although she fully intended to return to college that fall, the lure of the folk coffeehouses and jazz clubs proved too strong and she was soon inspired to write her own songs. Jones appeared regularly with the trip-hop-electronica band Wax Poetic and assembled her own group around songwriters Jesse Harris (guitar) and Lee Alexander (bass), with Dan Rieser on drums. In October of 2000, the group recorded a handful of demos for Blue Note Records and on the strength of these recordings, Jones signed to the jazz label in early 2001. Following an appearance on Charlie Hunter's Songs from the Analog Playground, Jones spent much of 2001 performing live with Hunter's group and working on material for her debut.
Come Away with Me, recorded by Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, Manhattan Transfer, k.d. lang) and legendary producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, the Bee Gees), was released in early 2002 and garnered much public attention. The combination of her striking beauty and the fact that she was the daughter of an internationally renowned musician placed Jones in the awkward position of defending her music from those who dismissed her as another pretty face (the same argument used by those opposed to Diana Krall) and/or another riding the coattails of her musical royal heritage (see Natalie Cole, Miki Coltrane, Corey Parker). Although not by any stretch a "jazz" album (the label chose to call it "jazz-informed"), it featured jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and session drummer Brian Blade, and indicated a new direction for Blue Note combining jazz aesthetics and talent with a pop sensibility. Come Away with Me eventually went multi-platinum, selling 18 million copies worldwide and winning Jones eight Grammy Awards.
In 2004, Jones released her highly anticipated follow-up album, Feels Like Home. Pairing once again with producer Arif Mardin, Jones pursued a similar approach to Come Away with Me, mixing '70s singer/songwriter-style tracks with blues, country, and her own mellow take on piano jazz. In 2003, Jones played in a group called the Little Willies along with Lee Alexander (bass), Richard Julian (guitar/vocals), Dan Rieser (drums), and Jim Campilongo (guitar), playing covers of classic American music like Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. This one-off performance ultimately turned into sporadic shows at the venue whenever their individual schedules would allow, slowly incorporating original songs into their set along the way. In time, the Little Willies began considering the release of a live album, but instead wound up documenting their sound in the recording studio. Milking Bull Records issued the resultant self-titled album in March 2006.
Late in 2006, the single "Thinking About You" announced a return to her solo career. It landed on the album Not Too Late, released in early 2007. The Fall arrived in 2009, followed in 2010 by ...Featuring Norah Jones, a collection of musical collaborations. The following year Jones was asked to provide some vocals for Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and Italian composer Daniele Luppi's spaghetti Western project, Rome. Burton returned the favor in 2012 by producing and co-writing the songs on Jones' fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts. She next teamed with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong in a project to re-create the classic 1958 Everly Brothers album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Recorded in nine days with bassist Tim Luntzel and drummer Dan Rieser, Foreverly was released in 2013.
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