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Joni Mitchell's "Mingus"

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I thought at least a couple guys on this side would have this album. I haven't bought it (yet!) but I'm listening to The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines right now.

    Let's take a look...Joni Mitchell...with Mr. Pastorius as her bassist/arranger along with Herbie, Wayne, and Peter Erskine in the band -- all playing in connection/tribute to Charles Mingus. Can I expect the other tracks to be as great as Dry Cleaner?

    Also, is there any insight I can get into the version of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat on this album? I was learning this tonight and, while vaguely aware of the existance of this record, I only really looked into it a few minute ago. I'm listening to the bit off of AllMusic.com, but it's a (very) short clip. The little bit Jaco's doing that Mingus did under the fluttering during the second chorus of the sax solo off of the original is a very nice touch :). Is there a copy of the lyrics for this anywhere? I'd really like to do this in my quintet, and my singer's good enough that she might actually pull this off!
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    IMHO . . . yes.
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    When this record came out Joni took a lot of heat for being a jazz dabbler, a tinkerer, a dilletante. Some people still say that about the record: "it ain't jazz."

    It is what it is and I won't play the label game with it.

    I was a HUGE Joni fan at the time (still am), I was a big jazz fan, and Jaco Pastorious was my hero -- his popping onto the scene coincided with my starting to play bass. He was my boy and he inspired me for years -- my R&B lines still sound really Jaco-ish (although I've ditched the mid-rangey sound.) I should have liked Mingus but the fact is I really didn't dig it too much. She was experimenting.

    I always thought Jaco in the 70's was a perfect match for Joni's music. Personally, I think the album Hejira -- maybe Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, but I didn't like the songs that much on that album -- demonstrates how perfect a match they were.

    Not too many years after that she married bassist Larry Klein who had a sound just like Jaco's.
  4. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Hejira... wow... It is what it is, and it is a great piece of work!
  5. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Joni's Mingus record is what took me over the edge from listening to just rock and fusion to include "real" jazz as well. I think that her Mingus album stands up very well today.

    It seems odd that a white woman from Canada was the catalyst to bring me into the jazz fold, but it happened. Some of my friends who were quite musically open minded but still favored her folksier material thought that she went too far into jazz, but I couldn't stop playing the record.

    As you can tell, I am somewhat sentimental about that record. I think that it is a testimony to the creative power of both Mingus and Mitchell.

    On Jaco, I think that he was at his peak of power and restraint on this record. This is to say . . . . great.

    Peace . . .
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I haven't heard Hejira in probably 20 years, but in looking at a track listing some of these tunes jump right into focus: Coyote, Furry Sings The Blues, Black Crow. Jaco was such a vital part of those recordings... It's a bit sad to think about, actually.
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah Hejira is great, and so is Mingus.

    Of course everyone gets blown away by Jaco's facility and precision pretty fast...but for me it was his exploration of natural harmonics that I relate to most when it comes to thinking about the double bass.

    The only real difference to me is that where Jaco explored them near the nut, most double bass music utilizes those same harmonics (since they mirror-image one another) near the bridge.
  8. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If you want, get a copy of the concert video "Shadows and Light" by Joni Mitchell. Jaco, Metheny, Alex Acuna, Lyle Mays, etc. all live... playing tunes from these aforementioned albums.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I guess the only other thing to know is the GBPPH lyric also includes lyrics wriiten to Booker Ervin's tenor solo off the version on AH UM. Nice solo.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    And M. Brecker, too. That's an amazing performance.
  11. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
  12. I have the Shadows and light double LP. It's such a great record.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I just saw a show about Joni Mitchell on PBS and I learned that she actually studied music with Mingus. It was an interesting show.
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Hey guys, I borrowed the LP from my teacher tonight! Can't wait to dig into this one. :D
  16. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    Actually, it was Don Alias not Alex Acuna. Mr. Alias passed away on March 28th, so I thought I should point out this error. He played on several Joni Mitchell albums. See


    for more info.

  17. That sucks:crying:
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Whaa?... damn, I missed that one. He was a great spirit, great vibe.
  19. mingus is the record where i like jaco the most, he is melodic, rythmic, and leaves so much space(like miles davis)!!!! if you take the bass out of that record it definitly would be other thing, maybe...nothing!

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