Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
Released in 2002, Norah Jones’ debut cd, Come Away With Me brought back a jazzy, raspy female voice back into mainstream pop music. Most of the 14 songs on the album are slow tempo, sparse arrangements, built around a stand up bass, hand percussion, often sparse guitar parts, piano and vocals. Considered jazz by some, pop by others, Come Away With Me won many awards and honors, including the top spot on Billboard’s top 200 chart, number one slots of several jazz charts, 8 Grammys, and a diamond (10 million+ U.S. sales) certification from the RIAA. Overall, album sales have reached over 22 million worldwide, beating Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue as the best-selling jazz album of all time.
Recorded at Sorcerer Sound and Allaire studios in New York City, Come Away With Me won engineer S. Husky Hoskulds a Grammy for “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical” in 2003.
Most of the songs on the album were written by members of Jones’ band, with a couple by Jones herself, rounded out with covers of Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart” and the jazz standard “The Nearness of You,” the latter of which was performed solo with Jones on vocals and piano.
My personal story with this album was having to listen to two jazz cds from my university’s library and write reports on them for a jazz history class during my senior year of college. The assignment came just after the 2003 Grammys and I worked at a music store, so, of course, I saw lots of copies of this being purchased. I picked it mostly out of curiosity, but it really sucked me in. In my massive CD collection, this (and the rest of Jones’ discs) is a pretty rare style to find, but the writing, the recording and the performance on here can always hold my attention. All 14 songs are great, but if you need a taste, check out “Don’t Know Why,” “Shoot the Moon” and “I’ve Got to See You Again.”