Norah Jones crooned and rocked in her Idaho debut

Ah, that voice! Sweet, sultry, alluring — with a range that goes from honeyed amber to soaring gold — it is inescapably Norah Jones. Hers is a voice you can curl up with for a night. That’s just what nearly 4,000 people did at the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Outlaw Field, where Jones played Sunday night.
The audience cheered the moment she came over the sound system with “What am I to You?” Then they were rapt.
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“I’ve never been to Idaho before,” she told the crowd (more cheers). “Looks like you guys like to have a good time.” She didn’t mince words or tell stories. But she did respond to the shouts of “You’re beautiful!” and “I love you!”

Jones is on tour to support her new album “Little Broken Hearts.” She played a mix of new songs, her past megahits and a few inventive covers under a canopy of origami cranes and sparkling lights. The stage was backed by a curtain that changed colors and intensity with each song.

People who came to hear her smooth, jazz-influenced Grammy-winning songs such as “Come Away With Me” got what they paid for, and a whole lot more.
This show highlighted the range and diversity of Jones’ musical styles and abilities. Her roots are firmly in jazz, and even though this new album produced by Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) takes her into new territory — country-tinged heartbreak ballads and a few serious rockers — she brings her luscious, sometimes complex jazz heritage along for the ride.

It’s all supported by her talented and nimble band. Bassist Josh Lattanzi easily moved from electric to stand up, smooth to funky; keyboardist Pete Remm went from organ to piano, helped by Jason Abraham Roberts’ solid guitar skills and an array of haunting effects, and Greg “G Wiz” Wieczorek’s superb drumming.
Jones spent the night switching between piano, guitar and keyboards.
The sound mix helped make it work as each instrument — including each of Wieczorek’s drums — were clearly articulated.

She crooned solo on piano to “Come Away With Me,” then played the spunky, funny “Man of the Hour” about her dog. (Someone must have told her Boise is a dog town.) She gave her delightful cover of Hank Williams “Cold, Cold Heart” a smooth jazz spin with stand- up bass and an almost Caribbean beat from Wieczorek. She also covered Elvis Presley’s hit “Suspicious Minds,” and gave it a breezy country swing.

The arc of the evening, including the poignant and haunting “Miriam,” ended with an all-out rocker, “Stuck,” with heavy guitar leads, flashing lights and a little head banging.

The encore went a whole other direction as the musicians all crowded around a microphone with acoustic and steel-string guitars, accordion and upright bass and a tom drum strapped to Wieczorek for bluegrass style versions of “Sunrise,” “Creepin’ In” and “Come Away with Me.”

Excellent review!

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