Music News 3/7/24




Norah Jones, VISIONS (Blue Note, $16.98) – Twelve new songs from Ms. Jones. In Norah’s words: “The reason I called the album Visions is because a lot of the ideas came in the middle of the night or in that moment right before sleep…We did most of the songs in the same way where I was at the piano or on guitar and Leon Michaels was playing drums and we were just jamming on stuff.”


NOTE: Catch the great podcast, Norah Jones is Playing Along, where Norah plays and converses with a host of musical guests. Three of my favorite episodes are with Mavis Staples, Questlove & Christian McBride, and her sister, Anoushka Shankar.


Les Amazones d’Afrique, MUSOW DANSE (RealWorld, $16.98) – Les Amazones d’Afrique is (to quote the New York Times) “a Pan-African, proudly multilingual alliance of singers and songwriters carrying feminist messages to dance floors.”

Musow Danse (“Women Dance”) features Mamani Keïta and Kandy Guira from Mali, Fafa Ruffino from Benin, Dobet Gnahoré from the Ivory Coast, Alvie Bitemo from the Congo, and Nneka from Nigeria.


Melissa Errico, SONDHEIM IN THE CITY (Concord Theatricals, $16.98) – As Jesse Green wrote in the New York Times,

“Melissa Errico’s tribute to Sondheim’s urbanity, feels like a New York house tour of thrill and heartbreak. In songs like the jangly “Another Hundred People,” the exuberant “What More Do I Need?” and the dry, disappointed “It Wasn’t Meant to Happen,” Errico, one of Sondheim’s deepest-hearted yet lightest-touch interpreters, evokes both the city and cabaret style at its best. On the pristine recording you can almost hear the martini glasses clink — and shatter.”


Nathalie Joachim, KI MOUN OU YE (Nonesuch, $16.98) – Composer, vocalist, and flautist Nathalie Joachim’s Ki Moun Ou Ye (Haitian Creole for “Which person are you?”) explores the area between chamber music and pop. “Performed in English and Haitian Creole, the work examines the richness of the human voice—an instrument that brings with it DNA, ancestry, and identity—in a vibrant tapestry of Joachim’s voice and intricately sampled vocal textures, underscored by Joachim’s flute playing, violin from Yvonne Lam (Eighth Blackbird), and drums by Jason Treuting (Sō Percussion).”