Tag Archives: Joni Mitchell

In memoriam: Jaco

Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the untimely death of Jaco Pastorius, the outrageously talented bass-player who redefined the role of the bass in jazz and revolutionised its technical possibilities.

Now hear this…

Also to be heard drumming on ‘Teentown’ on the album Heavy Weather, he also showed his more lyrically melodic (yet no less inventive) side on Hejira, one of several albums he recorded with the great Joni Mitchell.

Here are Weather Report live in 1978, the heyday of jazz-fusion, with Wayne Shorter on soprano sax, Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Peter Erskine on drums, and the great man showing his melodic-playing skills.

Ave, Jaco: we salute you.

Feeling blue: Joni takes a pop at Bob Dylan.

Legendary Canadian songstress Joni Mitchell has had a pop at equally legendary musician Bob Dylan for being a fake.

As revealed in the media yesterday, Mitchell has declared Dylan ‘a plagiarist’ and says ‘Everything about Bob is a deception.’

Album cover: 'Blue'Of course, those who live in the glare of publicity always have an element of deception about them, creating a public persona behind which to shelter themselves from the media’s remorseless stare. As the great French poet Jean Cocteau famously declared, ‘I am a lie who always speaks the truth.’

Dylan, it seems, has been accused of plagiarism before, connected with his 2006 album Modern Times.

Both Mitchell and Dylan have changed their names, but obviously Mitchell did not take kindly to the comparison in her interview with the Los Angeles Times.

However, Mitchell also pours scorn on Madonna, whom, she says, marks a turning-point in American culture which has been ‘stupid and shallow since 1980.’ Bear in mind, however, that this was the decade that gave film Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986),  and literature Tom Wolfe’s classic Bonfire of the Vanities, (1987), as well as the photography of Cindy Sherman, to name but a few redeeming cultural icons.

There was blood on Mitchell’s career tracks in the 1980s, when  her career took something of a dive after her success in the 70s: it was only with Night Ride Home in 1991 that her career surged back to critical acclaim. Perhaps that’s what it’s all about, really….

Although anyone who can list Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira amongst their back catalogue deserves our respect.