Norah Jones

Live Shot

Phases and Stages

Norah Jones

Paramount Theatre, August 21

"Since we're in Austin, we're gonna do a song special to Austin," declared Norah Jones the night before her Austin City Limits taping. "Special to us. I got to sing this song with Willie Nelson. It was sooo cool!" Likewise was the manner in which the 22-year-old Brooklyn-based/ Dallas-taught pianist sang Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Having already swayed her way through a subtle re-arrangement of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart," from the singer's recent Blue Note debut, Jones and her backing Triple A jazz trio probably could've emulsified a saloon glow onto any number of country and western standards. Such is the voice of Ravi Shankar's daughter: thick with body, and cured with Southern accents. A voice like Willie's, suitable for crooning the yellow pages as well as highlights from the great American songbooks. A voice aged and elegant like the Paramount Theatre, sold-out and teeming with adoration. Classic voices luxuriate in classic material, the originals off Jones' Come Away With Me facilitating an excellent start with "Don't Know Why," "Feelin' the Same Way," and the album's title track, all of which held their own against age-old seducers like "Comes Love" and Hoagy Carmichael's melting "The Nearness of You." Another highlight from Come Away With Me, "The Nearness of You," performed solo by Jones toward the end of her 90-minute set, turned the lamplight on her lacquered black grand particularly low. A slightly overgenerous helping of new songs were served up, illuminating the fact that Jones hasn't integrated any classic soul into her shows. She's got time. "I'm thinking of moving here," she gushed before "Tennessee Waltz" finished a three-song encore. "But I have to ask -- I ask every time I get here: How's the traffic?"

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Alex Coke & Carl Michel Sextet, <i>EMERGENCE</i>
Review: Alex Coke & Carl Michel Sextet, EMERGENCE
EMERGENCE (Record Review)

Michael Toland, May 12, 2023

Fall Platters
Jeff Lofton
Jericho (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 29, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Spiders, Slams, and Other Shows Worth Seeing This Week
Spiders, Slams, and Other Shows Worth Seeing This Week
Dare to go out on a school night!

June 14, 2024

Jess Williamson, Stay Black & Live, Babestock, and More Crucial Concerts
Jess Williamson, Stay Black & Live, Babestock, and More Crucial Concerts
Recommended shows for the week in Austin

June 14, 2024

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle