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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of Joni's career?
This album was the culmination of a jazz journey than Joni Mitchell began in earnest on 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns'. It is curious that Mitchell is still most associated with innocent, folksy, acoustic singer-songwriter style of Both Sides Now, Woodstock and Big Yellow Taxi; the run of albums that began with 'Hissing' through 'Hejira' and 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter'...
Published on 21 Jan 2005 by J. Sprackland

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK!
I respect both Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus a great deal, but Mitchell has attempted a tribute to Mingus with his music and discussions. I was interested in listening one time, but I passed it on to a friend after attempting to listen to it the second time.
Published 19 months ago by Sam Shingleton


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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of Joni's career?, 21 Jan 2005
By 
J. Sprackland "sprackyjack" (Southport, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
This album was the culmination of a jazz journey than Joni Mitchell began in earnest on 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns'. It is curious that Mitchell is still most associated with innocent, folksy, acoustic singer-songwriter style of Both Sides Now, Woodstock and Big Yellow Taxi; the run of albums that began with 'Hissing' through 'Hejira' and 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter' to 'Mingus' (with the summary coda of the equally excellent live recording, 'Shadows & Light') represent her most innovative and distinctive artistic period.
'Mingus' received a mixed reception on its release and some of the harsher criticism was obviously taken to heart by Mitchell who retreated to safer territory with the rockier and stodgier 'Wild Things Run Fast' and two more disappointing releases ('Dog Eat Dog' & 'Chalk Mark In A Rainstorm'). It was nearly ten years on from 'Mingus' before Mitchell again made a record that was true to her soul, 'Night Ride Home'.
'Mingus' deserved a better reception; regardless of the respective legacies of Charles Mingus and Joni Mitchell, it is a collection seriously beautiful music, as rich in composition, lyricism and musicianship as you should expect from the team of artists gathered together here.
If 'Mingus' had been received as the masterpiece that it is, Mitchell would have continued along a creative path that she had only just begun to explore and would still be running now. For this reason, 'Mingus' can be justly be described as the high point of Mitchell's outstanding career.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz meets Rock and Joni comes of age, 2 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
This was an interesting departure for Joni Mitchell. She had long since moved away from her folky roots towards blues and jazz rock but it was incredibly brave to take the music of Charles Mingus and add her own lyrics and interpretation.
The result is, however, superb with the opportunity for her to take her voice to its limits in great swooping sounds, peaks and troughs of extreme vocals. As always she has chosen some of the best musicians to accompany her.
This is the Joni Mitchell album for Jazz lovers and the Jazz album for Joni Mitchell fans.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vital Recording, 7 Aug 2006
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
This is beyond doubt one of my favourite records of all time.

Initially badly received by Mitchell fans still expecting folk-chick songs - I came by my original copy through a donation from one such - it is now acknowledged as worthy of its maker and its eponymous subject by Mitchell fans and many jazz/fusion fans alike.

The music is superb, the lyrics sublime, and Mitchell's voice on its customary ethereal plane. Musicianship, as you would expect from a stellar cast including Pastorius, Shorter and Hancock, is incredible. In fact, the whole thing is so good the superlatives run out.

There are some who believe the interjected recordings of Mingus talking detract from the music, but for me they complete the story.

The stand out track for me is the atmospheric The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey, with its backing track of howling wolves. Play it on a hot summer night to cool you down. It never fails to evoke snow and cold. And instead of a plectrum it sounds like Mitchell could only find a hammer to hit the guitar strings in an all-out frontal attack.

The incredible thing is that somewhere in the vaults there are tapes of outtakes by the people who mentored Mitchell in the album's sound, including Tony Williams, John McLaughlin and Jan Hammer. Please, Asylum, release them now! How many copies do I have to promise to buy to persuade you? Take a leaf out of Sony Legacy's book and do what they've done with the Miles Davis back catalogue.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality jazz, 27 May 2003
By 
Patrik Lemberg (Tammisaari Finland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
This is a must have album for any jazz fans. Hard not to like it.
It contains four songs, written by late legendary composer/bassist/bandleader Charles Mingus, to which Joni has
written lyrics (she even sings the melody -with lyrics- to the original sax solo from '59 on "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"...hi-lite).
There are also two songs written entirely by Joni Mitchell which makes 6 songs on the album (most of the 5 "raps" are only a few seconds each)
- so the album is a bit short, but that's its only weakness.
Very nice bass work (as so often) by Mr. Jaco Pastorius, who also made a very nice Pastorius-ish horn arrangement on the up tempo jazz-blues "The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines". Other musicians are Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Peter Erskine, Don Alias & Emil Richards Wolves... can't go wrong with such quality musicians.
Worth the monery!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK!, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
I respect both Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus a great deal, but Mitchell has attempted a tribute to Mingus with his music and discussions. I was interested in listening one time, but I passed it on to a friend after attempting to listen to it the second time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of an album, 9 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
A real gem of an album, Some tracks wonderfully interspersed with conversations with Mingus. Jaco Pastorius's creative bass playing is much in evidence and a joy to hear. Some of the tracks have the influence of the earlier Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, but all tracks are unique. I'm not a fan of blaring Brass line-ups but it's use in Dry Cleaner works perfectly. A mixture of tempo's, possibly not an album to relax to, but a pure delight to listen to. When it ended I just wanted more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mmmm, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
well there are a couple of good tracks on it - seems like a wasted opportunity to get Joni to sing some jazz
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two top musicians combine, 30 Dec 2009
By 
Knud Fjeldsted (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
In my opinion one of the best Joni Mitchell albums.
This is not surprising.
Joni Mitshell is a very competent singer with a personal and intriguing voice. Also she is, in my opinion, best when singing jazz or "semi jazz".
And Mingus is one of the top composers and musicians in jazz. The combination of the two - although Mingus is only present through his compositions and some recorded smalltalk - is great! Joni Mitchell captures the characteristic "off the road" Mingus style and adds her own wonderful interpretation.
Recommended!

Knud Fjeldsted
Denmark
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bold experiment that went wrong, 5 May 2007
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This review is from: Mingus (Audio CD)
You really couldn't imagine a better combination than this. Joni Mitchell's sublime vocal skills and a band that is essentially Weather Report, but with Herbie Hancock instead of Joe Zawinul. And yet it doesn't work. Try as she might, Joni only ever sounds like she's trying to emulate Billie Holiday - but wihout the pain. The album is redeemed from oblivion by the sublime and lyrical bass of Pastorius and glimpses of Hancock and Shorter while Joni draws breath. The up tempo Dry Cleaner from Des Moines, much better suited to Joni's delivery works well. Nothing else does. If you liked Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon, try Hejira, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, The Hissing of Summer Lawns. You'll be disappointed by this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Folk evolves > Jazz, 4 Mar 2010
By 
Ms. MP DELPECHE "MovieMad" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mingus (MP3 Download)
This is a really interesting album and Joni Mitchell demonstrates how versatile she is again. Mr Mingus is a giant within his genre as is Joni and this album is a fusion of outrageous sweet and pulsating sound/s. Mingus has a gig in heaven and Joni lives and creates to pleasure me! I love it you may not if you don't also love jazz.
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