Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Roots: My Life, My Song by Jessye Norman, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Roots: My Life, My Song

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

A sticker included on at least some versions of this Sony Classical release promises "music from Berlioz to Ellington," which would make it a pretty common type of classical vocal recital that includes a dash of jazz. That's not what's happening here at all, and there isn't even any Berlioz included. There is the "Habanera" of Georges Bizet, but that's given a tango-jazz treatment, and otherwise the only work from the European concert tradition is Poulenc's Les chemins de l'amour, a piece heavily influenced by popular song. This is not a souvenir or survey of Jessye Norman's career, but is instead oriented toward the roots mentioned on the cover. And, as such, it's quite an accomplishment. The two-disc program can be roughly divided into four overlapping and interpenetrating sections: spirituals, pop, French song, and jazz, with an introduction of African drumming. That's unusual enough as it is, but what really makes news here are the completely original treatments in each of the main categories. No information is included as to how the album took shape; some of it is apparently taken from live concerts in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. Norman is accompanied by a small combo that serves the non-jazz as well as the jazz pieces. Even standards like "Stormy Weather" and "Mack the Knife" are given free, quiet, highly personal treatments, and there's very little "operatic" singing in evidence even in the spirituals, which could stand up to it. You might think of the entire collection as a jazz performance, based on its sense of individualistic departure from preexisting models, or as a uniquely personal rumination on a great singer's deep roots. The cumulative effect of the program is quite powerful, and Norman deserves a great deal of credit for taking chances with a project she could easily just have phoned in.~James Manheim, Rovi


Born: 15 September 1945 in Augusta, GA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most renowned dramatic soprano singers in the world during the 1980s and '90s, Jessye Norman debuted in the Berlin version of Wagner's Tannhaüser in 1969 and appeared prolifically during the '70s, moving gradually toward recording and video releases during the '80s. Born September 15, 1945, in Augusta, GA, Norman studied voice at Howard University on a scholarship and graduated in 1967. Further studies at the University of Michigan followed, after which she made her operatic debut as...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Jessye Norman

Roots: My Life, My Song, Jessye Norman
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.