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Sad Mingus teams with Joni   Print

by Jim Millican
Winnipeg Free Press
August 9, 1979

Joni Mitchell...she sets the lyrics

Joni Mitchell's Mingus (Asylum X5E 505) is a much - discussed album that has nothing to do with pop or rock but still deserves a few lines.

Charlie Mingus, the jazz legand, health failing, called on Joni Mitchell to collaborate with him on one last project. He wrote a set of tunes that are almost unremittingly gloomy and for which Mitchell in her eagerness to plunge into the world of jazz forsaking any association with "The Popular Song," set lyrics - adding two of her own compositions.

This is a challenging LP, lean on melody and heavy on instrumental nuance provided in the main by Weather Report talents Jaco Pastorius and Wayne Shorter, with Herbie Hancock adding impact.Joni's open - ended blank verse twists around the musical sounds providing a link with some of what must have been going on in Mingus'mind.

The most touching aspect by far is the snippets of conversation with Mingus between tracks. Mingus is not the type of record you can be advised to purchase but it's an effort that I urge you to hear.

 

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