30 June 2007

Joni Mitchell's Essential Bronze Strings, 'Broken Trees & Ivories': "Blue"

(Hejira photo sessions, 1976)

(Blue photo sessions, 1971)

[Stage direction: setting, corner of Horatio and Cedar, Hyde Park in Tampa -- rock writer with CD boombox writing about A Case of You [quoted in part below] in the yard east of the front stoop. A fetching chestnut-haired woman rounds the corner -- hearing Ms. Mitchell sing this tune of hers. The woman stops her jeep in front of the writer, as if she needs directions. The woman, in an elated voice, asks, "What's that you're playing? I love that ...." [End of Epigram on discussion of quotes below with a lay preacher / neighbor:]

".... Just a little green Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to take to school tomorrow ...."

( -- from Little Green, ((c)[Joni], 1967)

" .... I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said,
"Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed ...."
( -- from A Case of You, (c)[Joni], 1971)

Blue: this record is all Joni -- a raw poet with a hell of an octave range and a seductive rhythm all her own.

All the hand-picked supporting players are gently blended into the music under Ms. Mitchell's extraordinary direction.

Stephen Stills' additions to the cut Carey turn it into a certified rocker by adding a sparkling rhythm, melody line and bass guitar.

On California, All I Want and A Case of You, James Taylor, somehow, plays his second acoustic guitar (behind Joni) in perfect harmony with Mitchell's. 1971 James Taylor studio work, here (on Blue) and also on Carole King's Tapestry, is as good as it gets. Embedded in Joni's trademark, irreproducible rhythms on acoustic guitar, Taylor's guitar is as translucent as lace.

And keep an ear out for pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky Pete".

After that epigram above, I shall wrap up my thoughts by calling your attention to Ms. Mitchell's broken-trees-and-elephant-ivories piano, superb as always.

Nuff said. This one's truly essential, essential blue.

1 comment:

Paullinator said...

Nice tribute.