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Norah Jones – I Dream of Christmas (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Norah Jones – I Dream of Christmas (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 00:42:21 minutes | 889 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

Norah Jones has announced the release of her first-ever holiday album, I Dream Of Christmas, which will arrive this October.

The nine-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and pianist has recorded a collection of covers of seasonal classics alongside her own original Christmas-themed songs. The covers featured on the album include “White Christmas”, “Winter Wonderland,” and “Run Rudolph Run.”

I Dream Of Christmas will be released on October 15 via Blue Note Records and will be available on vinyl, CD, and digital download. The first track from the record, “Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones)” is available to stream and download now.

Christmas music, which first became a common move for singers back in the 1950s, continues to exert a mystical pull on musicians from punk rockers to pop/jazz luminaries like Norah Jones. There are two paths to making a Christmas record: cover the classics or write your own tunes. Given that Christmas music is built on impossibly catchy one-hit wonders, and the list of successful songwriters includes such talents as Irving Berlin (“White Christmas”), Leroy Anderson (“Sleigh Ride”) and Johnny Marks (“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), the bar is high if you’re banging out originals. On the other hand, presenting your version of the classics is equally daunting considering that you’re following heavyweights like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley. Norah Jones decided to split the risk by molding classics into her style while also writing half an album of new Christmas originals. Twenty years past her early but still resonant hits like “Don’t Know Why,” and “Turn Me On” (both from blockbuster debut Come Away with Me) Jones makes her mark on the genre with the five tunes she penned, sometimes in collaboration with album producer Leon Michels. The single, a Jones original called “Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones),” is an enjoyably melodic holiday number. Her gospel-inflected “You’re Not Alone” unfurls like a classic ’60s country tune with an assembly of overdubs providing angelic vocals on the choruses and a pedal steel guitar ringing in the background. Pedal steel returns on “Winter Wonderland” where a synth sounds like timbales. The champ among the classics attempted, however, is “Christmas Don’t Be Late” which gets a wonderfully slow, torchy arrangement. Memorable details include the oozy horns of Raymond Mason, Dave Guy and Leon Michels, the snare drum reverb, and Jones—singing her own harmonies—leaning into the “hula hoop” line. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here,” famous from the Peanuts cartoon, is a natural fit for Jones’ piano-and-voice prowess. Berlin’s “White Christmas” gets a straight mid tempo cocktail jazz reading with Jones keeping up a brisk pace. On the other hand, the Elvis chestnut, “Blue Christmas” gets an ultra-slow reading with Jones on piano and vocals, letting her impeccably tight vibrato stretch over this holiday lament. The other favorite that Jones makes her own is “Run Rudolph Run,” best known as Chuck Berry’s Christmas hit, which here benefits from a deep rhumba beat and reverb on her doubled vocals. Ever the mercurial talent, Jones’ holiday dream is a worthy addition to the Christmas lexicon that’s merry and bright and yet innovative where it counts. – Robert Baird

1. Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones) (03:20)
2. Christmas Don’t Be Late (02:40)
3. Christmas Glow (02:45)
4. White Christmas (03:05)
5. Christmastime (04:00)
6. Blue Christmas (03:24)
7. It’s Only Christmas Once A Year (02:04)
8. You’re Not Alone (03:52)
9. Winter Wonderland (03:32)
10. A Holiday With You (02:40)
11. Run Rudolph Run (03:11)
12. Christmas Time Is Here (03:45)
13. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (04:03)


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