Vocal Jazz / Pop/Art Song/Folk • Canada
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Joni Mitchell, CC (b. 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter.

Born Roberta Joan Anderson on 7th November 1943 in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada, Mitchell is a musician, artist, and poet. She grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and briefly attended the Alberta College of Art at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta. Her writing and art talent emerged before her exposure as a gifted musician performing in Western Canada, including Winnipeg, where she met Neil Young. She then associated with the burgeoning folk music scene of the mid-1960s in New York City. Through the 1970s she expanded her horizons, predominantly to pop music and jazz, to become one of the most highly respected singer-songwriters of the late twentieth century. She is a multiple Grammy winner, and was awarded the Order of Canada.

Mitchell is also an accomplished visual artist. She has, through photography or painting, created the
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JONI MITCHELL albums / top albums

JONI MITCHELL Joni Mitchell (aka Song to a Seagull) album cover 4.48 | 3 ratings
Joni Mitchell (aka Song to a Seagull)
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1968
JONI MITCHELL Clouds album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1969
JONI MITCHELL Ladies of the Canyon album cover 3.70 | 4 ratings
Ladies of the Canyon
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1970
JONI MITCHELL Blue album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1971
JONI MITCHELL For the Roses album cover 3.09 | 3 ratings
For the Roses
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1972
JONI MITCHELL Court and Spark album cover 4.07 | 7 ratings
Court and Spark
Vocal Jazz 1973
JONI MITCHELL The Hissing of Summer Lawns album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
The Hissing of Summer Lawns
Vocal Jazz 1975
JONI MITCHELL Hejira album cover 4.22 | 9 ratings
Vocal Jazz 1976
JONI MITCHELL Don Juan's Reckless Daughter album cover 4.67 | 3 ratings
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Vocal Jazz 1977
JONI MITCHELL Mingus album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Vocal Jazz 1979
JONI MITCHELL Wild Things Run Fast album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Wild Things Run Fast
Vocal Jazz 1982
JONI MITCHELL Dog Eat Dog album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Dog Eat Dog
Vocal Jazz 1985
JONI MITCHELL Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm
Vocal Jazz 1988
JONI MITCHELL Night Ride Home album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Ride Home
Vocal Jazz 1991
JONI MITCHELL Turbulent Indigo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Turbulent Indigo
Vocal Jazz 1994
JONI MITCHELL Taming the Tiger album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Taming the Tiger
Vocal Jazz 1998
JONI MITCHELL Both Sides Now album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Both Sides Now
Vocal Jazz 2000
JONI MITCHELL Travelogue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vocal Jazz 2002
JONI MITCHELL Shine album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Vocal Jazz 2007


JONI MITCHELL live albums

JONI MITCHELL Miles of Aisles album cover 3.55 | 2 ratings
Miles of Aisles
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1974
JONI MITCHELL Shadows and Light album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Shadows and Light
Vocal Jazz 1980
JONI MITCHELL Court and Spark album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Court and Spark
Vocal Jazz 2013
JONI MITCHELL Live at the Second Fret 1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Second Fret 1966
Vocal Jazz 2014
JONI MITCHELL Joni Mitchell & Herbie Hancock : Bread & Roses album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Joni Mitchell & Herbie Hancock : Bread & Roses
Vocal Jazz 2015
JONI MITCHELL Joni Mitchell Archives – Volume 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Joni Mitchell Archives – Volume 1: The Early Years (1963-1967)
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2020

JONI MITCHELL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JONI MITCHELL re-issues & compilations

JONI MITCHELL The World Of Joni Mitchell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The World Of Joni Mitchell
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1971
JONI MITCHELL Misses album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vocal Jazz 1996
JONI MITCHELL Hits album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Vocal Jazz 1996
JONI MITCHELL Dog Eat Dog/Wild Things Run Fast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dog Eat Dog/Wild Things Run Fast
Vocal Jazz 1996
JONI MITCHELL Girls in the Valley album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Girls in the Valley
Vocal Jazz 2001
JONI MITCHELL The Complete Geffen Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Geffen Recordings
Vocal Jazz 2003
JONI MITCHELL Dreamland album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vocal Jazz 2004
JONI MITCHELL Beginning of Survival album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beginning of Survival
Vocal Jazz 2004
JONI MITCHELL Songs of a Prairie Girl album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs of a Prairie Girl
Vocal Jazz 2005
JONI MITCHELL Artist's Choice: Joni Mitchell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Artist's Choice: Joni Mitchell
Vocal Jazz 2005
JONI MITCHELL Songs Chosen by Her Friends & Fellow Musicians album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs Chosen by Her Friends & Fellow Musicians
Vocal Jazz 2005
JONI MITCHELL The Studio Albums 1968-1979 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Studio Albums 1968-1979
Vocal Jazz 2012
JONI MITCHELL Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced
Vocal Jazz 2014
JONI MITCHELL The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Reprise Albums (1968-1971)
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2021

JONI MITCHELL singles (0)

JONI MITCHELL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Shadows And Light
Vocal Jazz 1980
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Painting with Words and Music
Vocal Jazz 1998
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Woman Of Heart And Mind
Vocal Jazz 2003



Album · 1976 · Vocal Jazz
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Flashback: About 15 years ago it was not as easy as today, the internet world already existed and already gave all the signs of what the future would be like for music, but it still was not what it is today: a click and we heard a record...

So, my first real exposure to the music of Joni Mitchell was with what I could lay my hands on: and it was the 'Dog Eat Dog' album that I accidentally found in a second hand shop in the center of São Paulo for less than a dollar.

Well, now I know that this is not even close the best way to know Joni's music, Dog Eat Dog is pretty bad.

Back to the present. A few days ago I was watching for the second time the documentary Jaco and she appeared there talking about the album Hejira (in which Jaco Pastorius plays), and suddenly I remembered how much I love her music and that I had not yet heard Hejira.

Joni Mitchell has always been a goddess as a songwriter, her way of playing the guitar (with several different tunings) open new melodies and her compositions gain an even more original air. It's no different in Hejira. This record sounds so modern and up to date, even today. It fits in with Jazz Fusion, which had been developed a few years prior and was about to open doors with names like Weather Report, Return to Forever and Al Di Meola, but it is also Folk and it works, very well!

Hejira is a pleasure to hear from beginning to end and worth the hearing.

JONI MITCHELL Joni Mitchell (aka Song to a Seagull)

Album · 1968 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
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siLLy puPPy
Roberta Joan Anderson aka JONI MITCHELL emerged from the frosty plains of Canada in the Saskatchewan heartlands and developed her unique poetic prowess that took on social issues along with emotional heart string tugs from a very young age. She further stood out by developing her unique contralto vocal style as well as with alternative guitar tunings. While generally considered a folk artist, she incorporated aspects of jazz, rock, classical and R&B into her compositions. While she is much more noted for her 70s releases such as “Ladies Of The Canyon,” “Blue,” “Court And Spark” and my favorite title of all “The Hissing Of Summer Lawns,” JONI began her career all the way back in the early 60s and released her debut album SONG TO A SEAGULL in 1968.

While that was the intended title from the get go, a major boo boo at the printing press omitted the title and the album became known as simply as JONI MITCHELL. The title was supposed to be spelled out by seagulls on the cover and has since been corrected but will immortally live on as a bititular release. The album is divided into two halves. The first five tracks which were originally side one on LP fall under the banner of “I Came To The City” while the following five tracks which composed side two constitute the “Out Of The City And Down To The Seaside” half of the album. They pretty much simply create a filing system as to group subject matter of lyrics. This is very much an insider’s folk music album as it features Stephen Stills on bass and David Crosby as the producer.

While this debut release often gets forgotten in favor of the more successful releases from the 70s, this one should not be missed. This is pure JONI through and through. Perhaps the most pure and unrestrained JONI without any record company and music career pressures to perform. JONI’s vocal performances on this one are simply angelic. As she reaches for the light with her goddess wails, she achieves a state of sublimity that few other could. While the songs are light hearted and acoustically driven, there is a sincere heart felt discharge of emotions going on here. While the JONI sound on the debut won’t sound alien to anyone familiar with her later releases, this is where it all started with all those lovable elements already in place. There is not one track that isn’t captivating as hell on this one. From “I Had A King” to the prickly free “Catcus Tree,” this is a brilliant folk melodrama that injects itself straight into the bloodstream and delivers directly into the heart. A woefully underrated album in her discography.

JONI MITCHELL Court and Spark

Album · 1973 · Vocal Jazz
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With the stunningly pensive “Blue” album in ‘71 Joni Mitchell began to evolve out of her fragile, naïve flower-girl-folksinger-on-a-stool phase, showing a more adventurous side of herself to the world while wisely avoiding alienating any of her enraptured fan base in the process. The “For the Roses” LP was a good but somewhat predictable continuation of her musical expansion but, after a brief tour of that record, Joni took almost a year off to further develop and nurture her steadily increasing fascination with jazz. In January of 1974 she unveiled the results of her sabbatical in the form of “Court and Spark” and her impressive growth as a singer/songwriter and musician couldn’t be denied. Even conceited musicians who’d previously thought of her as a lightweight had to stop and take notice. With the help of pros like Tom Scott and Larry Carlton she was further developing a unique brand of aural art that didn’t sound like anyone else’s in the wide-open music scene that was flourishing in the mid 70s. In fact, this album would be the last that could even be figuratively related to her folksy past as subsequent releases would find her boldly (and some would say recklessly) venturing into highly eclectic and sometimes abstract territories that fewer and fewer of her flock could or even desired to comprehend. Therefore, while it may or may not be her masterpiece, “Court and Spark” unquestionably represents the apex of Mitchell’s popularity.

The title song opens the disc by displaying that Joni was still shifting her emphasis from the acoustic guitar to piano, thus widening her scope and her canvas. You can catch a glimpse of her folk roots in the tune’s melody but more obvious is her fearless combining of a myriad of genres. The number’s jazz presence is elevated by her inclusion of the great Milt Holland on the vibes. “Help Me” did wonders to advertise the album as the infectious song scaled the singles charts and peaked at #7. It’s a contemporary mixture of jazz and pop sensibilities that displayed her ongoing maturity as a lyrical songstress not hesitant to reveal her inner yearnings. Despite its many quirky kicks and accents the track maintains a nice structural flow that’s hard to criticize. “Free Man in Paris” was the FM radio equivalent to “Help Me” in that it soon found itself in heavy rotation in that (at the time) still-untamed realm. With this tune it became crystal clear that she now felt more comfortable in an ensemble setting while managing to avoid the formulaic traps so many of her contemporaries were falling into by asserting her highly individualized, bohemian creativity. Please note the delightful Spanish guitar flavors injected into the song’s atmosphere by guest musician Jose Feliciano. The slightly retro “People’s Parties” is the first tune on the record to feature an acoustic guitar up front and center along with her signature self-sung three-part background harmonies. It ends with an abrupt segue into “Same Situation,” a piano-heavy waltz that sports a jazzy chord progression and some light orchestration that adds a mysterious dimension to the mood it sets. A stronger, more aggressive groove propels the beginning of “Car on a Hill” but then it suddenly takes a strange turn midway through that’s difficult to describe. The whole song is a bit of an enigma.

While things up to this point have been entertaining enough to satisfy, the second half of the album is even better, starting with the cool “Down to You.” Her somber solo piano intro is wholly captivating yet, rather than keeping things predictable, she coyly introduces other instrumentation and jazz vocal harmonies tactfully to let the track blossom and then breathe freely on its own. This tune demonstrates her billowing artistry as well as any in the catalog of her work culled from this era. A savory jazz aroma envelopes “Just Like this Train” and that classy influence is presented in a very accessible format that’s almost R&B-ish at times. (Don’t get me wrong. Mitchell will never be mistaken for Aretha Franklin, that’s for sure!) Next is the playful “Raised on Robbery.” I don’t think Joni’s ever rocked this hard before or since but the Andrews Sisters’-styled harmonies give the song a pleasing nostalgic slant and an unavoidable charm. This cut, too, garnered a lot of airplay on the FM dial. “Trouble Child” follows and its surprisingly growling riff offers a real change of pace at this point yet it’s in no way a betrayal of her noble perspective or sound. She and her studio musicians concoct a darker, more mischievous tone that provides an essential depth to the proceedings. Mitchell finishes with her first cover, Annie Ross’ “Twisted,” and it’s a sparkling gem. Joni manages to channel Ella Fitzgerald competently here, flawlessly delivering one of her most impressive vocal performances ever. Not even the goofy utterances of then-trendy comedians Cheech & Chong can dull the tune’s brilliance. And, as a bonus, Chuck Findley’s muted trumpet is perfection.

“Court and Spark” was a resounding success. It soared up to the #2 spot on the album charts and stayed locked into that position for four weeks running, solidifying her status as a major player in the industry. As I intimated before, though, it also conclusively marked the end of Mitchell’s formative years. The clout she garnered from this record’s success presented her with a choice that many artists on her talent level must face. Either stay the cautious course and keep feeding her followers more of the same in an effort to remain in the spotlight or use the rare freedom it affords to strike out in new, riskier directions that some of their adoring crowd might not approve of. To her credit, Joni took the latter, less-traveled road and listened to her muse more closely than her accountant. Talk about a pivotal album in someone’s career, none can claim that label more honestly than “Court and Spark.”


Album · 1972 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
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In my review of Joni’s “Blue” album I noted that it marked a slight deviation from her folksinger roots and a branching out into jazzier, more eclectic areas. “For the Roses” is a continuation of that migration as she matured not only as a vocalist but also as a poet. I also mentioned in my assessment of “Blue” that my callous dismissal of Mitchell’s music in the early 70s did nothing to endear me to the heart of the beautiful girl I had a close relationship with at the time. This record is the one she played most often and I recall turning up my nose at the mere sight of the cover. I wish, for many reasons, I could go back to that era in my life. One of the things I’d change was my snobbish attitude towards a lot of artists like Joni. Truth is, I never gave her an unbiased listen and thereby only deprived myself of witnessing her talent as it evolved and became more ground-breaking. Without a doubt she was a major player in determining the role women would have in affecting the course of musical expression. But I was a young turd and thought I knew everything. I have better perspective now.

She opens with “Banquet,” a song that takes up where Blue’s closer (the exquisite “The Last Time I Saw Richard”) left off with her using piano as the sole accompaniment behind her voice, further evidence that her transition from folk stardom was progressing steadily. The tune’s structure is certainly not folkish and her words reveal an artist unafraid to comment on the lack of fairness that surrounds us all. “Who let the greedy in/and who left the needy out?” she asks. A bluesy sway underneath “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” serves the track well. On this number she brought in Tom Scott to provide some smart soprano sax riffs. His tactful injections and her dense vocal harmonies add a mysterious edge to counter her angelic singing style. “Someone's Hi-Fi drumming Jelly Roll/Concrete concentration camp/Bashing in veins for peace,” she intones. Her song about a truck stop, “Barangrill,” displays her creativity by employing a chorale of Scott’s flutes and recorders to bounce over the track’s upright bass line. “Three waitresses all wearing black diamond earrings/Talking about zombies and Singapore slings/No trouble in their faces/Not one anxious voice/None of the crazy you get from too much choice,” she sings. A lush piano backs her confident vocal on “Lesson in Survival,” a tune that demonstrates how her melodies could be delightfully complex without being superfluous. Here she remarks on her utterly human tendencies. “I came in as bright as a neon light/and I burned out right there before him/I told him these things I'm telling you now/Watched them buckle up in his brow/When you dig down deep you lose good sleep/And it makes you heavy company” she confesses.

The best cut on the album is “Let the Wind Carry Me.” The segue from the previous song is so seamless you may not realize it’s a different tune but Tom’s soprano sax returns (along with his bank of flutes) to establish its separate identity. Joni erects her jazziest one-woman chorale for this one but all these ingredients are used sparingly as highlights to add dynamic tension to her unique compositional idea. She can be brutally open about herself as she is here. “I get that strong longing and I want to settle/and raise a child up with somebody/But it passes like the summer/I'm a wild seed again.” I’ve read that the title cut was intended to be a “see ya later” message to the “biz” but, luckily, her hiatus didn’t last more than a year. The tune’s acoustic guitar/vocal approach is familiar but not a full retreat back to the “innocent waif” phase that characterized her early stuff and it’s just quirky enough to be unorthodox. “Just when you're getting a taste for worship/they start bringing out the hammers/and the boards/and the nails,” she complains. In “See You Sometime” the piano/voice motif grows repetitive but her avoidance of being a commercial sell-out is still so refreshing I can accept these “stream of thought” pieces for what they are. Often she delivers zingers about love that strike into the soul. “It seems such a shame/we start out so kind and end so heartlessly.” The light percussion that graces “Electricity” is a welcome change of pace at this point and once again she brightens up the track with her close-knit, jazzy harmonies. “She don't know the system/Plus, she don't understand/She's got all the wrong fuses and splices/She's not going to fix it up too easy,” she relates.

In a sarcastic response to her record label’s urging her to manufacture a hit single, Mitchell cranked out “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio.” Lo and behold, this odd little country/folk ditty caught on and became her first Top 40 trophy winner. Part of its charm is contained in snarky lyrics like “I know you don't like weak women/you get bored so quick/and you don't like strong women/'cause they're hip to your tricks.” “Blonde in the Bleachers” is deceiving because its piano/vocal mien sounds much like earlier fare at first but then drums and bass appear out of nowhere to give it vitality. Her views on the macho rock & roll lifestyle and its ever-present groupies are dead on. “It's pleasure to try 'em/it's trouble to keep 'em/'cause it seems like you've gotta give up such a piece of your soul/when you give up the chase/feeling it hot and cold/you're in rock & roll/it's the nature of the race/it's the unknown child/so sweet and wild/it's youth/it's too good to waste” she chortles. On “Women of Heart and Mind” a 12-string guitar, bass and congas flow under her icy voice as she croons “You know the times you impress me most/are the times when you don't try.” At the end you’re treated to yet another piano/vocal number, “Judgment of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig’s Tune),” and you realize that when Joni’s words came first she’d then sit at the keyboard and mold the music to fit her melodic narration. Having said that, flutes, airy harmonies and a small chamber orchestra pop up unexpectedly and make things interesting. I gotta hand it to her for not being complacent and for sprucing up her arrangements so colorfully. She exits with strong words of defiance and encouragement. “You've got to shake your fists at lightning now/you've got to roar like forest fire/you've got to spread your light like blazes all across the sky/they're going to aim the hoses on you/show 'em you won't expire/not till you burn up every passion/not even when you die,” she sings.

As I noticed on “Blue,” the jazz leanings in her voice were slowly starting to become more pronounced during this period of her career and it’s principally in the role of a jazz vocalist that she appears on this site. “For the Roses” is the overlooked record that made it possible for her popular “Court and Spark” album (released over a year later in early ’74) to gain widespread acceptance. Here, by further weaning her fans off of the sweet cream that had attracted them during her “pretty folksinger” stage, she was preparing them for the meatier diet of jazzy art rock that would dominate her later work. Don’t discount “For the Roses.” It’s a fine listen and further proof that Joni Mitchell will never be confused with any other artist. She was, is and always will be one-of-a-kind.


Album · 2000 · Vocal Jazz
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A sentimental journey into modern love?

Joni Mitchell's only traditional jazz album that I am aware of. She takes a trip back to past and covers what are basically vocal jazz standards from the 30's, 40's, and '50's. One from the 20's and one from the '60's as well. Also two of her own from 1968 (the title track) and 1972 redone in that style. The collection is a concept album of sorts. The concept being "the arc of a modern romantic relationship".

She teams up with an orchestra, bass, and drums. Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Mark Isham also show up in appearances as featured soloists.

Alas, for me this album is more interesting in concept than in execution. I much prefer her fusion excursions.

JONI MITCHELL Movies Reviews

JONI MITCHELL Shadows And Light

Movie · 1980 · Vocal Jazz
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Joni Mitchell meets The Pat Metheny Group.

What can I say? This was my real introduction into the music of Joni and what a place to start! She had really entered a new phase and the tracks offered span from Court And Spark up to Mingus (and of course, the song Shadows And Light, exclusive to the live album).

The concert was an outdoors affair at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. The liner notes say that "this concert catches Joni at the height of her artistic excellence." Having explored her albums after and before this era, I can wholeheartedly agree with that. Jaco Pastorius, who had a reputation at that point of being erratic in live situations, seems to be in a good mode. The camera work is good and the concert is now available on DVD with 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio all of which make for a show worthy of revisiting from time to time.


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