Documentary by filmmaker Allison Anders and PBS American Masters film directed by Susan Lacy to accompany release of CD
Travelogue, the first new release from legendary singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell since 2000’s acclaimed Both Sides Now, is set for release on Nonesuch Records November 19th.
The deluxe, double CD package features twenty-two selections spanning the breadth of Joni Mitchell’s career and features the artist in performance with a 70-piece London-based orchestra, a thirteen voice choir and a backing band that includes keyboardists Herbie Hancock and Billy Preston, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, drummer Brian Blade and others.
Travelogue was produced by Joni Mitchell and Larry Klein, who also served as Musical Director and bass player on several tracks, with arrangements and conducting by Vince Mendoza. The album was recorded earlier this year at Sir George Martin’s Air Studios in London. Acclaimed filmmakers Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging: Grace Of My Heart-for which Joni composed the song “Man From Mars”: Things Behind The Sun) and Alistair Donald (Wingspan) were invited to document these historic sessions and the post-production in Los Angeles. The resulting hour-long documentary, tentatively titled Circle Game: The Making Of Joni Mitchell’s Travelogue, offers an intimate look at Joni’s creative process and includes exclusive interview footage with her and some of the other legendary artists participating in the project. It also documents some of the unexpected challenges of making the album such as a studio fire that nearly destroyed the master tapes. The film has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival for possible screening in early 2003.
Spanning virtually the entire career of this seminal artist, Travelogue contains both well-known hits and hidden treasures from Joni Mitchell’s extraordinary body of work. Included are “The Dawntreader” from Song To A Seagull, “Woodstock” and “The Circle Game,” from 1970’s Ladies Of The Canyon; “The Last Time I Saw Richard” from 1971’s Blue; “For The Roses” and “Judgment Of The Moon And Stars (Ludwig’s Tune)” from 1972’s For The Roses and “Trouble Child” and “Just Like This Train” from 1974’s Court And Spark.
Also featured are “Amelia,” “Hejira” and “Refuge Of The Roads” from 1976’s Hejira; “Otis And Marlena” from 1977’s Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter and “God Must Be A Boogie Man” from1979’s Mingus. Culled from Mitchell’s 1982 album Wild Things Run Fast are “Love,” “You Dream Flat Tires,” “Be Cool” and “Chinese Café /Unchained Melody,” while more recent material includes “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” (based on a poem by W.B. Yeats) and “Cherokee Louise” from 1991’s Night Ride Home along with three tracks from 1992’s Turbulent Indigo: “The Sire Of Sorrows” (Job’s Sad Song), “Sex Kills” and “Borderline.”
Also planned for Spring 2003 is the definitive biography on Joni Mitchell for PBS’s acclaimed American Masters series. For the first time, Joni Mitchell has agreed to participate in a full-scale film of her life and work. The 90-minute film, AMERICAN MASTERS Joni Mitchell: Penitent of the Spirit (w/t) is a co-production of Thirteen/WNET New York and Eagle Vision, and will air nationally on PBS in May 2003. Directed by series creator and Executive Producer Susan Lacy and produced by Ms. Lacy and Stephanie Bennett, the film contains rare archival performance footage from Mitchell’s earliest appearances in 1966, historic audio recordings of never released material, home movies, her acting debut, a comprehensive photo archive, and interviews with the musician covering the span of her career – with candid conversations conducted expressly for her latest album. Confirmed interviews include David Crosby, Graham Nash, David Geffen, Larry Klein, Cameron Crowe, and Mitchell’s daughter Kilauren, her parents, Judy Collins, Stephen Holden, Eliot Roberts, Tom Rush and Herbie Hancock.
Joni Mitchell is currently considering performing a series of select dates in support of the release of Travelogue.