Music Blu-ray Review: Norah Jones - Live at Ronnie Scott's

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Live at Ronnie Scott's, now available on Blu-ray via Eagle Rock Entertainment, presents Norah Jones in a relaxed, pop-jazz environment. Focusing on crystalline vocals and deft piano work, Jones ably demonstrates why she has remained a mainstay on the AC scene for some 16 years (and counting). Now nearing the big 4-0 (she doesn't look it), it's clear from this intimate live concert that she has matured into a consummate small-combo leader.

Supporting her throughout the 16-song set are Christopher Thomas on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Blade is a longtime collaborator of Jones' having drummed on her debut Come Away With Me way back in 2002 and most recently on her acclaimed 2016 release Day Breaks. Thomas has a long history of playing bass with Bade, not to mention jazz notables such as Myron Walden, Terence Blanchard, and Joshua Redman. Their un-flashy support of Jones is sympathetic and tasteful throughout.

Naturally quite a few tunes from Day Breaks turn up in this set, including covers of Neil Young's "Don't Be Denied" and Duke Ellington's "Fleurette Africaine (African Flower)." There are also favorites from the entirety of Jones' career thus far, including of course the song that put her on the map: "Don't Know Why," which has emerged as something of a modern pop-jazz standard. There's a bonus track, "Burn" (the lead-off cut from Day Breaks), included as a bonus.

Also part of Eagle Rock's bonus section is an interview with Jones. Like the concert itself, the backstage chat finds the songstress cool, calm, and collected as she discusses her career, the privilege of playing at Ronnie Scott's, and her approach to performance in general. Coupled with strong A/V specs (including a choice between DTS-HD surround or LPCM 2.0 stereo), Norah Jones - Live at Ronnie Scott's is a treat for fans.

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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