Monday, 20 October 2008

Joni Mitchell - A Day In The Garden, Yasgur's Farm, Bethel, NY 15/08/'98

In the long run I want to go back to Joni's earlier stuff: as with Waits I prefer the first flush of youthful talent, musically speaking, but, again like Waits, she's a real artist, and as they both continue to produce wonderful art, well, you gotta love 'em! Anyway, this was the first one I found in my archives, and after a listen I thought, well, dang-nab it, it may be more modern Joni, but it's bloomin' marvellous, so up it goes! The band is: Larry Klein bass, Brian Blade drums, Mark Isham trumpet, and Greg Leisz on pedal steel and lead guitar.

As well as her own fabulous originals, which, as proven by 'Happiness Is The Best Facelift', continue to be strong both musically and lyrically, there are a number of jazz standards. But, and very refreshingly, they are treated in anything but a standard way. Just taking the first two alone, 'Come Love' and the much covered 'Summertime', Joni and her magnificent band manage to make these songs spookily personalised. She really is an artist, and I love her for that.

As mentioned in her intro, and referencing her own absence from the original Woodstock, it took Joni 30 years to "get back to the garden", and lot of muddy water passed under the bridge in those years, but it has to be said, better late than never! The audio quality of these recordings is fabulous. I've posted them as 192 kbps MP3 and they sound fine to me. I might re-post at higher res if I get the time and the demand.


1 Hejira
2 Comes Love
3 Happiness Is The Best Facelift
4 Summertime
5 The Crazy Cries Of Love
6 No Apologies
7 Sex Kills
8 The Magdalene Laundries
9 Black Crow
10 Moon At The Window
11 Slouching Towards Bethlehem
12 Just Like This Train
13 Big Yellow Taxi
14 Trouble Man
15 Woodstock

I have to mention the 'Crazy Cries of Love', because it's a fabulous thing to write a song about: she introduces the song with sufficient candour and clarity to leave us in no doubt as to exactly what kind of crazy cries of love she's singing about! Even in this post-hippy, post-Kinsey, and supposedly highly permissive society, it speaks volumes of our sexual culture that we're all so buttoned down. But not all of us are: I have memories of being woken by the sounds of untrammelled passion way back in the London days of my youth on a number of occasions... right on lovers!


Joe Carter said...

Thanks for posting this. As far as the band members, she names them at the beginning of Trouble Man.

thefunkygoat said...

Hi Joe, thanks for that reminder. I should've remembered that! I've amended the post as a result. Like you I really dig Brazilian music. It influences quite a bit of my original stuff. I have a kind of 6/4 time Bossa Nova number on my MySpace page (and a solo Batucada track I put together). Message me with an email if you'd like to hear that stuff - I prefer to blog anonymously - and I'll send you a link.
cheers... the goat

Joe Carter said...

Hey Mr. Goat:

What's your MySpace address?

I look forward to hearing your sounds.

Send it here:

ish said...

Thanks for this. Looks to be a treat. I followed your link from Simon's Mark Murphy post.

Speaking of Joni Mitchell--also number one fan here; don't tell the peopel who think I'm all about freaky jazz--have you ever seen John Kelly perform? Hasn't done a show in a couple years but he does a drag tribute/parody/worship show of Joni's material (as a lookalike, no less) that is sheer brilliance.

thefunkygoat said...

Hi Ish, I've been very slow to respond, sorry! not spent much time in blogsville lately... must get back into it!

I've not heard of John Kelly, I'll 'google' him and find out more. Cheers,

the goat

dugg said...

what brilliant music- a real pleasure to hear her singing with a mature voice, and speaking so well to her songs and inspirations...
many thanks,

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