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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Celebrating Joni

With apologies up front to one faithful follower of this blog (who tells me to get out of the musical "past"), I feel compelled to join the legions of people who have written rapturously about Joni Mitchell.

Thanks to my brother, I just watched a concert DVD called "Painting With Words & Music" (1998). Although I've admired Mitchell since 1968 and own most of her recordings, this was the best 90 minutes I've spent in front of my TV in years. The span of material covered goes from "Big Yellow Taxi" & "Woodstock" (both substantially re-worked from the versions on her 3rd release - 1970's "Ladies Of the Canyon") to "Comes Love" (mis-named on the DVD credits as "Nothing Can Be Done"), the jazz standard written in 1939 that she would later record on "Both Sides Now" in 2000. The Mitchell recording that gets the most attention here (with 4 songs) is 1976's  "Hejira". This fact alone made me ecstatic; "Hejira" is among my favorite of her records.

The band is wonderful, especially on the nicest surprise - Mitchell's cover of Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man". Although I missed hearing any songs from "Blue" or "For the Roses" or especially from "Mingus", given the caliber of her musicians, these are minor quibbles. Join me in celebrating Joni, one of the treasures of 20th century music.    


  1. it's okay to be in the past with music, books, language, business trends and concepts,ONLY if you are hanging on to the BEST of the past AND rule #2 have one foot in the past and the other in the present. Review and rave about some recent musicians and artists that are living and not over 65, for example!
    Here's a challenge question for you-what do you think of the work of Bansky?

  2. Don't know Bansky but that's whole point of blog to get turned onto new stuff. So I'll check him/her/them out. Thanks!

  3. check out Exit through the Gift Shop-a 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary raises alot of questions that you allude to in your blog about orginality