The jazz-pop singer Norah Jones is no stranger to collaboration. Even before the world came to know Jones through her 2002 multi-platinum Grammy- winning debut Come Away with Me, she had turned heads the previous year with a contribution to a Charlie Hunter cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” (which is included here) and had a longstanding association on stage with the trip-hop outfit Wax Poetic.
This compilation of cameos, duets, and collaborations includes tracks recorded between 2001 and 2010: the newest are “Bull Rider,” with vocalist Sasha Dobson, and “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John,” with indie-pop faves Belle and Sebastian. These pairings produce mixed results. The latter track is disappointing. Others, especially the slow ballads—with Ray Charles (“Here we Go Again”), Willie Nelson (“Baby It’s Cold Outside”), the Little Willies (“Love Me”), the Foo Fighters (the samba ballad “Virginia Moon”), Herbie Hancock (“Court & Spark”), Ryan Adams (“Dear John”), and M. Ward (“Blue Bayou”)—rank among Jones’ best material.
Over and again, Jones caresses these assorted jazz, R&B, and country ballads with her silky voice and intimate delivery. Hip-hop outings with Outkast, Q-Tip, and Talib Kweli mostly process her voice and place it back in the mix, where her magic tends to get lost