Mitchell's Mingus Not A Fitting Tribute

by S Adams
Pitt News
October 3, 1979

Concerning last week’s review of Joni Mitchell’s Mingus: the review was well-written, but I disagree with its content. Although it is a “bold” and “courageous” undertaking on Joni Mitchell’s part, I felt that it was also a big mistake.

First of all, I believe that no one can provide an accurate picture of Charles Mingus except Charles Mingus, and them, again, like everything he has done, it would be his way. Joni Mitchell is clearly out of her league. But, in this case, so would everyone else. It is evident that Mitchell’s voice is not suited to the music. There is no possible way that she could put the proper feeling or expression into the music. Mingus’ and Mitchell’s musical experiences and life experiences are worlds apart. It shows. Her singing ranges from hollow to ridiculous. The force of the album’s musician are not mere embellishments; instead, they provide the only credible aspect.

I am a fan of Joni Mitchell’s. However, I cannot agree with or like this album. It is not more excusable than good rock n’ rollers playing disco. But then, some people like rock n’ rollers playing disco, because a lot of people believe that established musicians can do no wrong. Perhaps that is the case here.

Printed from the official Joni Mitchell website. Permanent link:

Copyright protected material on this website is used in accordance with 'Fair Use', for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s). Please read 'Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement' at