MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters Life!) - Norah Jones charmed the Montreux Jazz Festival, moving nimbly from guitar to keyboard and piano, and blending new songs with crowd favorites from her breakthrough album.
Striding on stage with her bright red electric guitar on Saturday night, she opened with “I Wouldn’t Need You,” among half a dozen tracks from her latest and fourth album “The Fall.” Others included “Light as a Feather” and “Chasing Pirates.”
It was the American’s second appearance in three years at the Auditorium Stravinski where Jones headlined the annual festival being held on the shore of Lake Geneva until July 17. Next door, The Dead Weather lit up the Miles Davis Hall with a blistering performance of blues rock.
“It is so beautiful here, I can’t take it. I wish I could live here, especially when I get stressed out,” the New York-based Jones told the sell-out crowd.
The 31-year-old, who wore a strapless flounced dress with black and white checks, set off by a red belt and red high heels, is the daughter of legendary Indian sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar. She is also half-sister of Anoushka Shankar.
She shot to fame with her 2002 debut album “Come Away with Me,” which took eight Grammies, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. “Feels Like Home,” “Not Too Late,” and most recently “The Fall” followed.
Jones, who grew up in Texas, departed from her own repertoire to play a song by iconic American country singer Willie Nelson, “What Do You Think of Her Now?”
But it was when she moved to the piano that she seemed to connect best with the audience, winning her biggest applause for “Sunrise.” At the end of a soulful rendition of “Waiting (for You to Come Home),” the lights went out, leaving only the red lamp on her piano glowing like a beacon in the dark.
“Back to Manhattan,” “December” and “Man of the Hour” — about her faithful dog — followed from her new album with dogs on the CD cover. Vocalist Sasha Dobson joined in on banjo for a lively “Sinkin’ Soon.”
Jones finished on acoustic guitar for “Lone Star,” huddled front stage with her five musicians, before returning for an encore of “Creepin’ In” and a melodic “Come Away With Me.”
Legendary music producer Quincy Jones took the stage at the end of the 90-minute set, praising Jones, who is no relation, as “my baby sister.”
“She has a young mind, a young body and an old soul,” he said.
Editing by Jason Rhodes; editing by David Stamp