NORAH JONES RECORDING SESSIONS HISTORY: July - August 2009

Sunset Sound Studios, Studio 2, Los Angeles, CA

Band members: Norah Jones (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano), Zac Rae (rhodes, vibes, Marimba, organ, clavinet, synth, marxophone), Lyle Workman (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Gus Seyffert (bass), Joey Waronker (drums), James Gadson (drums)

Producer/Engineer: Jacquire King

Additional Engineer: Brad Bivens

Assistant Engineer: Morgan Stratton

Set:

  • [O] Young Blood
  • [O] I Wouldn’t Need You
  • [O] Back to Manhattan
  • [O] Her Red Shoes
  • [O] Tell Yer Mama
  • [O] Light As A Feather
  • [O] You’ve Ruined Me
  • [?] others

Guide:

[O] = officially released

Best available sources:

The Fall

  • Young Blood
  • I Wouldn’t Need You
  • Back to Manhattan
  • Tell Yer Mama
  • Light As A Feather
  • You’ve Ruined Me

 

Released in November 2009 on Blue Note Records.

The Fall (Import)

 

  • Her Red Shoes

Released in November 2009 on Blue Note Records.

The Fall EPK

  • Young Blood
  • Tell Yer Mama
  • Back to Manhattan

A brief 5-second video clip (with audio overdubbed of the complete song) is shown of Norah recording the electric guitar part for “Young Blood,” with a 3-second video clip of Lyle Workman recording his acoustic part (with no audio). A 10-second video clip follows of Joey Waronker’s drumming on “Tell Yer Mama,” during which Zac Rae and Gus Seyffert are also highlighted for about 3 seconds each recording their parts, with no audio. Finally, an 15-second video clip (with audio overdubbed of the complete song) is shown of Norah recording the piano and vocals for “Back to Manhattan” while James Gadson and Gus Seyffert play drums and bass respectively.

Notes: The second official session to record songs for The Fall.

In the invaluable interview Jacquire King gave to the Universal Audio Webzine, he said for this portion of the recording sessions, “we went to Sunset Sound. We were in Studio 2 for a week.” (1) While this marked Norah’s first time at this studio, it has in the past played host to big names such as Elliott Smith, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Tom Waits, amongst others. Considering Norah picked King due to his being the producer on her favorite Waits album, it is unsurprising then that she also chose to record at a studio where he had laid down tracks in the past.

 

The recording equipment changed slightly when they moved to this studio. While he had relied on using the pre-packaged ProTools converters in the Magic Shop session to record, here King secured a 2192 Master Digital Audio Interface. As King told Universal Audio Webzine, “I didn't have the 2192 until right after the Magic Shop. I started using the 2192 for the rough mixes. I love that box, just because of its sound quality, and how it's really pristine, and the imaging is really, really good on it. So making the rough and ready mixes, it was nice to have that.” This would change again, however, once the trip was made back to Norah’s place for the final round of overdubs. (1)

 

NOTES ABOUT RECORDING INDIVIDUAL SONGS

 

Young Blood

 

Norah stated in an interview with Music Week that “Young Blood” was written with “a lot of references to London. I don’t know whether that is obvious or not.” She also added that the song made a reference to the movie “An American Werewolf in London,” with lines about “city of spires and other subtle things.” (2) During her album premiere on CBS Smooth Jazz 94.7, she also added that "This was an interesting one that I wrote with Mike Martin...he's not a musician...so I took the music and he wrote all the lyrics...it's interesting for me because this song has more lyrics than any song I've ever written...it was a little bit of a mouthful for me, but...I really like the way it came out.” (3)

 

As stated earlier, after recording the stripped down acoustic demo with Norah at her home, King was able to get a better idea of what Norah wanted to do and how he could expand upon the sound she desired.

 

This is also the first song of the album to feature Joey Waronker, son of Lenny Waronker, the famous record executive. Norah revealed that she almost approached Beck to oversee The Fall before going with Jacquire, precisely because of Waronker’s drum sound. “I really wanted to work with Joey Waronker because I’ve always loved his drumming on the Beck records. Beck’s name came up a lot when we were trying to pick people for this record. At a certain point I almost thought, ‘Well, maybe I should just ask Beck to produce because I keep looking to work with the people he’s worked with.’ But I didn’t try.” (4)

 

I Wouldn’t Need You

 

This was another of the “scrapped” 2008 demos that saw new life by re-recording. It is a good bet that this song may have emerged from Norah jamming on an electric version of “Come Away With Me,” which many fans caught on upon first hearing this song, as the opening riffs for both versions are almost identical.

 

Back to Manhattan

 

When asked about what this song was about, Norah was less than forthcoming, in particular about the “prince who is waiting.” The interviewer presumed, like in “Man of the Hour,” that the “prince” was a dog. “Oh, that’s cool,” she responded. “I mean, it’s not like, I’m not gonna tell you what that song is about…there’s enough in the songs that you can piece together…and you won’t know what’s about us and what isn’t…you might think the prince is a dog…and you might be right.” (5)

 

This song is also notable for the “tack piano” technique. While this was masterminded by John Kirby at the Magic Shop session, King decided to carry it over to this session as well, and Norah followed Kirby’s lead by taping the piano with duct tape to reproduce the “clucking” sound in “Chasing Pirates” and “Man of the Hour.”

 

Her Red Shoes

 

The piano part and the main electric part were recorded by Norah in separate takes, with Seyffert adding a bass guitar track. At this session, there was no percussion, but it, along with pedal steel, would be added later on. The song bears a striking similarity to another import-only track, the rendition of “What Am I To You” that was recorded with Arif Mardin at the second Come Away With Me recording session.

 

Tell Yer Mama

 

Norah referred to this as the oldest song of the set, noting that one of her songs was “a stray from three years ago.” (6) Jesse Harris is featured yet again on songwriting credits, and is joined by Richard Julian. While neither of them performs on the song, their influence is apparent as this could have been a throwaway Little Willies track, or something that was being considered for Not Too Late. Along with “Man of the Hour,” this was also one of the only songs on The Fall that was played live publicly before recording, in a February 2009 show Norah did with one of her side project bands.

 

There is video footage in the EPK where Norah remarks to Joey, after he has laid down the drum track for either this song, or “Young Blood,” that he “sounds so good when you're drumming...you have a light touch even when you're playing aggressively.” (6)

 

Zac Rae was also asked to add synth and marxophone to “Light As A Feather” and “You’ve Ruined Me,” which had been completed in New York but were pulled out to include his contributions.

 

After this session, Jacquire and Norah flew back to New York and again spent the next week and a half at The Coop, her home studio, finalizing all recording for the album. This session marked the end of all major recording.

 

LOOKING BACK

 

“I didn’t really quite picture myself as being someone who would be desired for the situation, from my impression of her,” King says. "It’s just honest music, and I think with a different approach that may be in some ways more accessible to fans that weren’t necessarily drawn in by the jazzier flavor…It’s a bit more rocking.” (7) He remarked that he was “absolutely” happy with how the record came out. “I'm really pleased that we were able to take so many songs—because some of the songs were written and felt like they were stylistically a little different, you just go with what the inspiration is for a song—and then bringing things together, you make them more common, on an album. And using so many players, I'm just really glad that it all hangs together really well. But ultimately I think that is a testament to Norah. She's the constant, and it's all really about framework for her voice.” He also agreed that she was a “lovely person,” remarking that “it's sort of disarming how down to earth and cool she is. As she says, she's a lot edgier in person than her music in the past has portrayed her. But she would cook food for us, while we were working at her house. She's just so easy to be around, very genuine. She doesn’t have an ego, really. I mean, we all have an ego, of course …she's not a diva at all. You have to have a healthy ego to be in touch with what your creative powers are, but she's not a diva at all. Ready to work hard, and just really about having things feel right. She sings so wonderfully, and it doesn't take a lot of effort. There's not a lot of takes. Either she's feeling it and it's happening, which is most of the time, or it's like let's do this later, for good reason. She's able to sing a song in two or three takes. It really is cool. I did have a few occasions, when we were working in her studio control room and we were listening together on headphones as she's singing—to be in the room with her is pretty inspiring, and gave me some chills, too. You really feel special stuff is happening, and it's really nice to be a part of it.” (1)

 

As for Norah, she noted that “You don't want to cover up the singer, and you want to showcase the song. I have a very intimate way of singing. It was important to retain what was unique about the way I sing." (8) On the anticipated surprise people would undoubtedly have on hearing her move so far away from her jazz “roots,” Norah answered that she still loved jazz. “I'm still very influenced by it but I've been moving away from that style since the first record. It's not a surprise to people who have been listening to me.” (9) And on doing an album without Lee: “It's the first where he wasn't heavily involved…I played him some of the songs. He's still an opinion I really love to have in my life. We are so connected it would be hard to separate -- musically. It was frightening. I didn't know who I was going to pick [to step in for Alexander]. It became difficult to find the right person. Once I did, it was great. I wouldn't say it was liberating because Lee wasn't there. He's someone who... he could have made the album with me. He would have been happy to go in the same direction. For me, it was fun to play with a whole group of different musicians. It wasn't just a case of Lee not being there -- my comfort zone was my community of musicians. Going outside of that was scary at first. At the same time, it was also really exciting to see who is out there." (10)

 

“I'm older now, and it's evident in my writing," she says. "I always used to be worried about the craft of the songwriting, because I was so new as a songwriter, but now I'm not afraid to just try something. I'm confident enough that I just want to get it out and hear it." (11)

 

References:

1. Universal Audio Webzine – Marsha Vdovin Engineer/Producer Jacquire King Holds Court with Norah Jones, Kings of Leon, and More
2. Music Week – Christopher Barrett – Norah Jones – The Fall Girl
3. Smooth Jazz 94.7 The Wave – CBSRadio Street Date World Premiere of “The Fall”
4. Entertainment Weekly – Clark Collis – Norah Jones Gets Remixed by Beck, the Beasties, and Santigold
5. Paste Magazine – Kristina Feliciano – Norah and the Swell Season Recover from Broken Hearts
6. EMI - Norah Jones – The Fall – EPK
7. Associated Press – Nekesa Mumbi Moody – Norah Jones Experiments with Guitars and Grooves
8.
Wall Street Journal – Jim FusilliNorah Jones Rocks n’ Rolls
9.
The Strait Times – Norah’s New Direction
10. Irish Independent – Ed Power – Wide Awake: Norah Jones
11. Norah Jones official biography (2009) – EMI Music


nojogigs.com | all documents, unless otherwise noted, 2007 - 2010 nojogigs.com | Contact webmaster

jordan 13 black infrared legend blue 11s jordan 13 black infrared legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan 13 black infrared 23 legend blue 11s black infrared 23 13s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 13 black infrared legend blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 13 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 23 13s legend blue 11s black infrared 13s jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 13s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue jordan 13 black infrared 23 legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s michael kors black friday michael kors black friday michael kors black friday beats by dre cyber monday michael kors black friday uggs Black Friday coach cyber monday beats by dre cyber monday kate spade cyber monday coach cyber monday uggs black friday coach black friday coach cyber monday beats by dre black friday michael kors cyber monday hollister black friday kate spade black friday michael kors black friday michael kors black friday kate spade cyber monday beats by dre cyber monday uggs black friday north face cyber monday beats by dre black friday canada goose black friday coach black friday michael kors cyber monday michael kors cyber monday north face black friday hollister cyber monday uggs cyber monday canada goose cyber monday uggs cyber monday kate spade cyber monday hollister cyber monday north face black friday michael kors cyber monday uggs cyber monday coach black friday canada goose cyber monday canada goose cyber monday kate spade black friday canada goose cyber monday kate spade cyber monday north face black friday hollister cyber monday