Norah Jones on the ropes

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Norah Jones it took her three weeks to run out of the role since her first visit to the Jazz Festival donostiarra. It has its merit to hang the no tickets at the evening venue of the festival, the majestic Kursaal designed by Rafael Moneo, where long queues formed at the entrance, and even more so when the present and the future of jazz guitar meet in the Plaza de La Trinidad on the same day, Bill Frisell y Julian Lage. All received well-deserved applause, although the distribution of glory was uneven

Norah Jones carpeted the stage for a quartet where -heck!- hiding nothing more and nothing less than a legend of the drumsticks, the drummer Brian Bladewhom we recently knew as the rhythmic pillar of the quartet of the long-awaited Wayne Shorter. We do not know his direction, but it was a surprise to see him integrated into the ranks of Jones, that he did what he does best: please. The girl makes pop with a jazzy feeling, yes, exquisitely manufactured. Actually Norah Jones is a blues singer-songwriter -be careful, not a singer-, of a white blues, without sin or penance. More than whispering, she exhales her songs with a delicate, almost imperceptible vocal breath, liking and liking herself more and better when she was placed in front of the piano.

Have a very special instinct with the blues, to which sometimes country gestures sneak in, like when halfway through the recital he also reached for the guitar. The songs followed one another among the euphoria of the respectable, although the emotion was always the same, from the first to the last song. There was no shortage of outstanding titles such as Don’t Know Why, Can You Believe o Come Away With Mebut we immediately sought jazz refuge in La Trini, where two leaders of the current jazz guitar, the veteran Bill Frisell and the young Julian Lage, waited for the night.

Lage opened fire, escorted by a trio of great jazz power, double bassist Jorge Roeder and another titan of drumheads and drums, drummer Joey Baron. The whole recital was a flash of intelligent and lively musicwith a display of improvisations that always fell into new, unprecedented emotions, since the technical capacity of a guitarist already called to share a table with icons of the six strings such as John Scofield, Marc Ribot or Frisell himself, with whom he ended up hosting the evening. The latter, for his part, signed passages of great ingenuity, especially when Greg Tardy was used to the full with the tenor. Gerald Clayton and Jonathan Blake more than fulfilled their rhythmic responsibilities, even if the pianist seemed uncomfortable with the sound. They presented some titles from their album Four, third installment manufactured for the Blue Note label, and although we were happy, something was missing in our guts and in our hearts; Either he or we had better nights.

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