Friday, April 18, 2008

Cover of the Week: Nick Drake's "Day is Done" by the Charlie Hunter Group featuring Norah Jones

Are you a Norah Jones buff? Do yourself a favor. Don't just confine yourself to her solo work. You might find new and more interesting dimensions to this singer.

For example: Before she ever hit it big, Norah Jones got together with record producer and musician Peter Malick, who introduced Jones to the blues and invited her along to sing at some of his small gigs.

That collaboration ultimately resulted in a recording during the summer of 2000 that wasn't released until 2003, a little while after after Jones' debut Come Away With Me (2002) redefined what kind of music Americans bought.

For those looking for an earthier Jones, New York City (2003) is an excellent place to start. The title track, which I've already featured in Big Apple-themed radio show, is a looping number that encapsulates almost every native's love-hate relationship with the city.

Then there's the Charlie Hunter Quartet's Songs from the Analog Playground (2001), which features the jazz guitarist collaborating with a variety of guest vocalists. Jones is featured on two numbers. One is a rather forgettable version of "More Than This," which once again shows it's impossible to improve on the perfection of the Roxy Music original. The other is far more interesting: "Day is Done," the Nick Drake song, which (if possible) Hunter and Jones manage to give a starker sound than the already-bleak original.

Give it a spin. Tell me if you agree. In any case, it's a worthy addition to the Norah Jones canon.

Play "Day is Done" by Norah Jones with the Charlie Hunter Quartet

No comments: