In praise of Joni

More

Of course the other point of having a blog (see my previous post for the main reason) is to advertise one’s enthusiasms, as if anybody gives a damn. Therefore, while I am in this narcissistic frame of mind, be it known, I am a Joni Mitchell fan. She is one of the greatest musical artists of our time, and a woman I have lusted after (it goes without saying) man and boy. More than 30 years ago I recall attempting to persuade the poet Roy Fuller that many of Joni’s lyrics were capable of being read as serious poetry, no less than his own. He was very nice about it.

The great thing about Joni is that she improves with age. Her artistry soars as her record sales decline. I am not talking about the enviro-politics, I hasten to add—you have to look past the whining apocalyptic gloom. (We make these adjustments for our loved ones.) But the music just gets better, and the lyrical ingenuity is undimmed. I urge you to listen to “Shine”, her newest album (and the first of new songs for nearly 10 years) if you haven’t already. The jazz sensibility is perfectly assimilated. It’s beautiful.

And do listen, also, to Herbie Hancock’s lovely new album of Joni covers, “River”. It features—and I would say stars—Wayne Shorter, my favorite saxophone player and a frequent Joni collaborator. A couple of reviewers have complained that the album is subdued and understated. That’s what I like about it. It’s a dreamy, reverent reflection on Joni’s wonderful melodies. I think he likes her music as much as I do.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In