Mellow but masterful & meaningful...
Yanksta | Landofthemidnightsun | 06/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SHORT REVIEW: Very enjoyable cd, with great production & instrumentation by Herbie Hancock. great pop songs by Joni Mitchell. great performances by all performers involved.
LONG REVIEW: A seemless cd, made up of a variety of jazz musical sounds by Herbie, together with the jazzy introspective folk-pop of Joni Mitchell.
Sure its on the mellow side but Joni is the showcase and her lyrics, here performed by Joni and others, goes perfectly with the savy down tempo playing of the instrumentalists. But that is not meant to be a negative comment. The instrumental passages and moments are very good. This is jazz, a bit mellow, but not in a bad way. Its loose and improvisational jazz(heck look who is playing it!!!), with a wee bit of sly Hancock funk, lightly sprinkled throughout. Subtle yet poignant. Sweet yet salty.
...if you have any hesitation, see if you can listen to the first 2 songs all the way through. Beautiful performances all the way around, but these songs are not meant to be 30sec clips. Sweet Bird & Tea Leaf Prophecy are also very nice. I was not disappointed with anything really. Even the non-Joni songs fit seemlessly into the overall vibe of the cd. I have even enjoyed the cd playing it loud while driiving, just to hear every musical nuianse. A real audio treat, and to quote a review I saw for another work, "every sound is deliberate and perfect."
Reminds me of Miles Davis cool-jazz ensembles of the late 50s and up thru the 60s up, until he he formed his Bitches Brew group (which had the harder sound that was inspired by late 60s hard rock.). its Miles influenced cool-jazz, filtered thru 70s era Joni Mitchell, with the jazz being a bit more experimental & low key in some sections.
...to me, as jazzy and loose as this cd is, it still has a good amount of style, rhythm & melody throughout. Except Herbie & Co. play with it, much the way Joni herself did on many of her original songs & albums.
If you are only familiar with Joni's singles you may nt be aware of the rest of the songs she had on her original albums. some tended to have alot of instrumental experimentation venturing into jazz turf.
loved this cd throughout & recommended for jazz and joni fans looking for different versions of her songs.
Thanks HH & JM.