Joni Mitchell

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Mingus

Although better known for her folk-rock and pop, singer-songwriter Mitchell also recorded some straight-ahead jazz with the best in the business, and this particular album ranks up there with the best efforts of the classic jazz singers. The accompanying band is highly distinctive, giving this album its own unique sound, which is produced by the omnipresent electric bass-playing of Jaco Pastorius, some minimalist and acerbic soprano from Wayne Shorter, and sparse electric piano sophistication from Herbie Hancock. The masterpiece is ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’, on which Mitchell puts some inspired lyrics to Booker Ervin’s tenor solo from the Mingus Ah Um album. To add to the atmosphere, the tracks are broken up with clips of Mingus talking and singing; his brief duet with Mitchell on ‘I’s a Muggin’’ is memorable.