Norah Jones returns to her roots with ‘Day Breaks’

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MARK BONIFACIO

MARK BONIFACIO

The name Norah Jones first came to international consciousness when she released her breakthrough album Come Away With Me in 2002. Not only did it produce the hit single “Don’t Know Why,” but it also broke through the music charts, swept the 2003 Grammy Awards, and changed the landscape of the music scene at the time.

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In terms of numbers, Jones measures achievements can be measured with over 45 million albums sold worldwide, and a total of nine Grammy awards.

Thus far, the singer’s body of work is comprised of critically acclaimed and commercially successful solo albums: Feels Like Home (2004), Not Too Late (2007), The Fall (2009), and Little Broken Hearts (2012); as well as albums with her collective bands The Little Willies and Puss ‘N Boots.

Meanwhile, the 2010 compilation Featuring Norah Jones saw her collaborating with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Outkast, Herbie Hancock, and Foo Fighters.

Norah Jones returns to piano and jazz in new album

Norah Jones returns to piano and jazz in new album

Taking a break from the music industry for a few years—during, which time she married a fellow musician with whom she now has a son and a daughter—Jones finally ends her hiatus with a new album titled Day Breaks, her sixth solo record. The outing is said to be a “kindred spirit” to Jones’ breakout debut Come Away With Me.

In this album, the singer returns to the piano and her roots in jazz as she features some of the genre’s luminaries, among them her Blue Note label mates, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade. The 12-song set presents nine new originals, alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young.

Relaxing as the mood of the album may be, Jones also takes on a political theme and touches on current events. Most notable is “Tragedy,” a track about alcoholism and its ill effects.

In the rhythmically charged “Flipside” she sings, “You saw your reflection all over the news. Your temperature’s well past a hundred and two. Put the guns away, or we’ll all gonna lose” – possibly in reference to America and the senseless wars around the world .

In “Peace,” Jones declares, “Peace is for everyone.”

Of course, Jones generously sings about love in most other tracks, such as “It’s A Wonderful Time For Love” and “And Then There Was You.” The single “Carry On” features her’ signature piano sound, reminiscent of “Don’t Know Why,” while giving a different feel to her version of the Neil Young original “Don’t Be Denied” as if it were her own. In fact, changed the lyrics from first person to third. The two other covers are jazz standards: Horace Silver’s “Peace” and Duke Ellington’s “Fleurette Africaine (African Flower).”

Top tracks in the album include “Day Breaks,” “Don’t Be Denied,” “It’s A Wonderful Time For Love,” “Flipside,” “And Then There Was You,” and “Carry On.”

Jones, the quintessential jazz artist, has indeed come full circle with this remarkable album taking jazz to a whole new level. Her artistic experiments actually work, with her effortlessly sweet voice seeing every song through.

Music Geek should say Day Breaks is the wise older sister of Come Away With Me. In other words, it is the debut album’s mature version.

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The Vamps Live in Manila
British pop rock band The Vamps returns Manila anew for the third time on November 12 at the Kia Theater.

Comprised of Brad Simpson (lead vocals and guitar), James McVey (lead guitar), Connor Ball (bass guitar) and Tristan Evans (drums), the band burst into the scene in 2013 and recorded two albums – Meet The Vamps (2014) and Wake Up (2015). From these albums, they produced hit singles like “Wild Heart,” “Somebody To You,” “Last Night,” “Risk It All,” “Can We Dance,” “Wake Up,” “Rest Your Love,” and “I Found A Girl.”

The Vamps

The Vamps

In time for their current tour, The Vamps released a new latest single “All Night” in which they teamed up with Norwegian house DJ and producer Matoma. It is the first single from their third album due for release in 2017.

The Vamps’ following continues to grow rapidly. Their YouTube channel has just topped 119 million views, and combined with their VEVO channel, the band is quickly approaching half-a-billion views and 2.7 million subscribers. They often trend around the world on Twitter with 3.2 million followers. The band’s members are also regulars on Facebook and have posted a series of Facebook Lives this week to announce the single and world tour to 6.2 million Facebook fans.

All VIP Access have been sold out for the Manila leg, but Patron Access for the show are still available for at the MCA Music office on the 31st floor of the Raffles Corporate Center along F. Ortigas Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Call 916-2504 for details.

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