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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When The Man Comes Around
J.D. Considine. Feb. 19, 2003.
"Don't look now, but jazz singing has quietly become the new Easy Listening. And boy is it big business... Then there's newcomer Norah Jones, who is widely expected to sweep the Grammy Awards this Sunday, and has so far sold more than four million copies of her debut, Come Away with Me... funnily enough, what these best-selling jazz singers deliver has little to do with jazz, beyond a walking bass and an occasional piano solo. Instead, their music sits squarely in the middle of the road, offering obvious melodies, a soothing mood and a veneer of sophistication... Because it's so pretty, so determinedly inoffensive, it's hard to hate this music. But it's very easy to despise the musical dumbing-down that comes with aspiring to a higher class of aural wallpaper... Billie Holiday died for this?"

J.D. Considine. Jan. 30, 2006.
"Because her critics tend to disparage her less for what she is than what she isn't -- to wit, a traditional jazz singer -- the backlash against Norah Jones must seem a bit nitpicky to those who buy Jones's albums simply because they like the way they sound. If her records sound good, who cares what pigeonhole they're shoved into?"

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