Library of Articles

  • Library: Articles

LAURIE ANTONIOLI Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light Print-ready version

by Christopher Loudon
Jazz Times
August 1, 2014

*Buy at Amazon*
*Buy from Laurie*

As is common knowledge among even casual Joni Mitchell fans, around the mid-1970s her passion for jazz became increasingly integral to her work; that passion escalated through the '80s and included collaborations with Mingus, Jaco, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. So, at first blush, it seems odd that as jazz-savvy a vocalist as Laurie Antonioli would build a Mitchell salute exclusively around songs that pre-date Joni's jazz musicians.

In fact, it makes tremendous sense. By restricting herself to Mitchell's earlier music (stretching all the way back to her debut album, 1968's Song to a Seagull), she's providing purer canvases, free of other jazz influences. She seems, by and large, to color within the lines--but that's because her shadings are so brilliantly subtle.

These 13 selections date from a time when Mitchell was still rather dewy-eyed--young and endlessly curious about mankind's fancies and foibles. Antonioli brings to these narratives an enriching wisdom. When, for instance, she sings the social panoply that defines "People's Parties," she's not wallflower observer but hardheaded veteran. When she sings sweet, lost "Marcie," you know she's suffered the same naive hope in the face of cruel rejection. And, as she shares in the liner notes, she draws on her own battle for sobriety to so affectively plumb "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire." this is, in short, precisely what any truly distinctive tribute should be: honorific yet idiosyncratic, respectful yet wise.

This article has been viewed 1,138 times since being added on August 2, 2014.

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.

Comments on LAURIE ANTONIOLI Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light

Comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering at this site.

You must be registered and log in to add a permanently indexed comment.