218

Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now

David Adler BY

Sign in to view read count
Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell's love of jazz has never been a secret, but this program of mostly old standards is a departure for the folk-rock icon. In characteristically creative fashion, Mitchell orders the songs so that they tell the story of a typical romantic relationship, from the first-blush sentiments of "At Last" to the anguish of "Answer Me, My Love," to the zen-like perseverance of her own classic "Both Sides Now." In so doing, she makes a statement that is truly universal, and she also makes each song uniquely her own. Her smoky, weather-worn voice is still a thing of unsurpassed beauty. Her subdued delivery and unorthodox diction recall Billie Holiday most of all.

Seventy members of the London Symphony Orchestra surround Mitchell with luxury; the arrangements are tailored with expert care by Vince Mendoza. Mitchell's ex-husband, bassist Larry Klein, is the musical director. Peter Erskine and bassist Chuck Berghofer provide the most senstive rhythmic accompaniment imaginable. And any number of session musicians could have come in to lay down perfectly acceptable (and perhaps innocuous) solos, but no: Make way for Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Mark Isham. Shorter's five guest appearances (on tenor as well as soprano) are particularly amazing: here's a player with a style as idiosyncratic and unmistakable as Joni Mitchell's. (The same could be said about the late Jaco Pastorius, another notable jazzer with whom Joni often worked.) It's fitting for a great singer/songwriter to surround herself with complementary greatness, and Both Sides Now is another fine example of that Joni Mitchell tradition.

Personnel

Joni Mitchell: voice / vocals.

Album information

Title: Both Sides Now | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Asylum Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

This Land
Theo Bleckmann & The Westerlies
Trust Me
Gerry Eastman Trio
Pittsburgh
Matthew Stevens
Wandersphere
Borderlands Trio: Stephan Crump / Kris Davis /...
Kinds of Love
Renee Rosnes
Lockdown
The Biscodini Organ Trio
In Our Time
Victor Gould
Someday, Something
Rebecca DuMaine

Popular

Absence
Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective
The Garden
Rachel Eckroth
Time Frames
Michael Waldrop

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.