Kindred spirits: Diana Krall, Norah Jones
Show: Sunday at the Birchmere. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. 703-549-7500. www.birchmere.com. Show is sold out.
Throughout her career, Madeleine Peyroux has blended jazz, country, blues, pop and even folk. On her new album, “The Blue Room,” she seriously synthesizes these and other disparate sounds.
Peyroux was born in Georgia and bred in SoCal, Paris and Brooklyn, and her music has always reflected these diverse environments. The playful, smoky-jazz-club vibe she brings to her songs contains echoes of the deep South, the urban North and even France.
Peyroux’s musical accomplice is producer Larry Klein, the estimable bassist noted for his work with ex-wife Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel and the late Warren Zevon. For this project, Klein approached Peyroux with the idea of reimagining “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,” Ray Charles’s legendary 1962 meeting of R&B, blues, jazz and country.
For “The Blue Room,” though, singer and producer didn’t just parrot Charles; they extended the concept. There are some “Modern Sounds” staples here, most notably a bluesy turn on “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” a steamy and mournful “You Don’t Know Me” and a grinding take on “Bye Bye Love.” But Peyroux and Klein also seamlessly included Randy Newman’s “Guilty” and Zevon’s “Desperadoes Under the Eaves” as well as a jaunty cover of Buddy Holly’s “Changing All Those Changes.”
The album’s sole lowlight is a dirge-like take on John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind.” Otherwise, “The Blue Room” crackles with energy and musical tension, and stands as Peyroux’s most accomplished, mature work to date.