If music has color, then Norah Jones paints in a wide array of blues and grays.
Saturday night, before a sold-out Midland theater, Jones spent 90 minutes rendering tales of love, heartache and loss, most of them drawn from “Little Broken Hearts,” the breakup album she made with producer Danger Mouse.
She opened with a swinging, jazzy version of “Cold, Cold Heart,” the Hank William song she covered on her debut album. Then came five straight from “Broken Hearts,” including “She’s 22,” a song of scorn from a woman who has been replaced by someone younger: Later, she would perform “Miriam,” in which she threatens to kill the younger woman.
Jones shifted from piano to keyboards to electric guitar throughout the set. During “All a Dream” she laid down some lead guitar, scuzz-blues style. She gave her bandmates an ample moment in the spotlight, introducing each after his showcase. Other than that, she said little to her fawning crowd, which showered her with ovations and affection all night.
A sameness began to settle in about an hour into the show, a feeling of warm inertia generated by her rich, soothing voice, her band’s unwavering slickness and so many midtempo, light-jazz numbers. She broke up the set by performing a few songs solo at the piano, like a singer in a hotel lounge. Even during this low-key interlude, the crowd gave her its attention and approval — a sign that her fans know what to expect and appreciate getting it.
There were some uptempo moments, such as the cover of “Creepin’” and the poppy “Happy Pills.” The one weak moment of the night was “Election Day,” a song written in 2004 that felt dated and out of place amid the rest of the show.
They ended the set with a worthwhile cover of Gram Parsons’ “Hickory Wind,” for which they were joined by the opening act, a male-female duo called Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons. For the encore, Jones and the band gathered around a sole microphone and delivered three songs, stripped down to accordion, guitar, bass and shaker. The first of those extended the theme of the evening: “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart.” But she ended with “Come Away With Me,” one of her hits and a song that shifted the mood of the night from blue to brightness and implied some assurance that the lady with the cracked heart and gorgeous voice still believes in love.