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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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A misconception has sometimes been associate with Norah Jones: that the Texan is little more than a pleasant light-jazz singer whose albums serve as harmless background music for high-brow and proper evening dinners. Though her writing, playing and eclectic collaborations, she has clearly proved that she is far more interesting than this cliché. And this 2020 offering is a new illustration of her complexity. As is often the case with Norah Jones, Pick Me Up Off the Floor is not quite jazz, not quite blues, not quite country, etc… Her genre-defying music works primarily to suit the song being played. Here we find what has been left behind after sessions with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Thomas Bartlett, Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante and several others.But for all that the result is not simply a contrived mishmash of collaborations but a collection of songs that hold the same silky groove (present on six out of 11 tracks on the record in which Brian Blade’s drums work delicate miracles) and calm sound which increasingly suits the artist, somewhere between pure poetry and realism. “Every session I’ve done, there’ve been extra songs I didn’t release, and they’ve sort of been collecting for the last two years. I became really enamoured with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realised that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me.” Rarely has Norah Jones sang with such strength, like on I’m Alive where she sings of women’s resilience, or on How I Weep in which she tackles love and exasperation with unequalled grace. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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A misconception has sometimes been associate with Norah Jones: that the Texan is little more than a pleasant light-jazz singer whose albums serve as harmless background music for high-brow and proper evening dinners. Though her writing, playing and eclectic collaborations, she has clearly proved that she is far more interesting than this cliché. And this 2020 offering is a new illustration of her complexity. As is often the case with Norah Jones, Pick Me Up Off the Floor is not quite jazz, not quite blues, not quite country, etc… Her genre-defying music works primarily to suit the song being played. Here we find what has been left behind after sessions with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Thomas Bartlett, Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante and several others.But for all that the result is not simply a contrived mishmash of collaborations but a collection of songs that hold the same silky groove (present on six out of 11 tracks on the record in which Brian Blade’s drums work delicate miracles) and calm sound which increasingly suits the artist, somewhere between pure poetry and realism. “Every session I’ve done, there’ve been extra songs I didn’t release, and they’ve sort of been collecting for the last two years. I became really enamoured with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realised that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me.” Rarely has Norah Jones sang with such strength, like on I’m Alive where she sings of women’s resilience, or on How I Weep in which she tackles love and exasperation with unequalled grace. This Deluxe Edition contains two bonus tracks and a collection of 17 songs culled from Norah’s Live From Home weekly livestream series. Thie Live From Home selections include a mix of career-spanning originals and such covers as Guns N’Roses’ Patience, John Prine’s That’s The Way The World Goes Round and Ravi Shankar’s I Am Missing You. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Jazz - Released August 7, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released September 2, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released September 11, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released August 14, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released August 21, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Once she came to the end of the promotional cycle for 2016's Day Breaks, Norah Jones decided to challenge herself by recording a series of swift sessions with a rotating cast of collaborators. The intention was to release the results quickly, issuing them as a digital single at a time, and Jones followed through on this plan, releasing a new song every few months throughout 2018. These tunes were rounded up on 2019's Begin Again, but that wasn't the end of the project. Jones cut a number of songs during these sessions that were unreleased but not forgotten by the singer/songwriter. She kept listening to the rough mixes, eventually coming to the conclusion that these tracks would make a strong album of their own accord. Pick Me Up Off the Floor proves her instincts were correct. Lacking the purposeful digressions of Begin Again -- an album where the digressions were the entire point -- Pick Me Up Off the Floor is a tighter affair than its companion record, firmly rooted in the after-hours jazz-folk-pop hybrid that's Jones' calling card. Some of the cohesion may be due to how a good chunk of the album is anchored by her standby drummer Brian Blade, but it's also true that this record's collaboration with Jeff Tweedy is the amiably rambling "I'm Alive," a number that is firmly stationed within Jones' wheelhouse. The same could be said about Pick Me Up Off the Floor in general. There are accents and flourishes that distinguish the tunes -- "Flame Twin" is charged by curlicues of guitars and smears of organ, "To Live" is graced by muted horns straight out of the Big Easy -- but as a collection of songs, Pick Me Up Off the Floor winds up emphasizing how Jones slyly and elegantly synthesizes a pop sensibility with a jazz execution, a fusion that is comforting yet relies on her idiosyncratic twists. This blend of warmth and invention is what's so appealing about Pick Me Up Off the Floor: the shape may seem familiar, but the construction of the songs and the inventiveness of the performance keeps it fresh and surprising even after the first listen. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Norah Jones in the magazine
  • Qobuz: Exclusive Interview with Norah Jones
    Qobuz: Exclusive Interview with Norah Jones Ahead of her new album release this coming Friday, 7th October, Marc Zisman of Qobuz had the opportunity to sit with the world renowned jazz artist to chat about life, music, and more...