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The New Yorker
July 5, 1999

Live music in New York City's backyard. July 1 at 7:30: "Joni's Jazz"

With an ego as big as Malibu Beach and a tiresome persecution complex, Joni Mitchell makes it tough to love her these days. Her work speaks for itself, though, particularly the sixties and seventies albums that cut a glorious swath, from confessional folk to sleek pop to jazz-inflected art songs. Mitchell went fully electric much later than Dylan, taking the plunge with "Court and Spark" in 1974. The albums that followed, including "The Hissing of Summer Lawns," "Hejira" (featuring brilliant work from bassist Jaco Pastorius), "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter," and "Mingus," each with a deeply personal poetic voice and a broadening of musical boundaries, have turned out to be some of her most influential. For this benefit concert, a dizzying range of artists - from Duncan Shiek, PM Dawn, Chaka Khan, Jane Siberry, and Holly Cole to Ravi Coltrane, Eric Anderson, Joe Jackson, Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks, and Vernon Reid - revisit these prescient albums.

 

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