11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (Audio CD)
I have loved this 1977 album ever since I first heard it about four years ago. It has a very different feel than the 1976 album "Hejira" or the 1979 "Mingus" album. Jaco Pastorius' bass lines and fills (often brief overdubs of several basses filling) are dominant on most of the album. I love how the bass harmonics and high-pitched fills meet and complement Joni Mitchell's vocal effects. The overture is chilling.
Jaco uses a very rich and unusual sound on his bass here. This is an absolute MUST-LISTEN for Jaco fans. A lot of overdubbed voicings sneak in here and there. This had not been typical of Mitchell's early albums, and is one of the things that gives this one a special feeling. Another strength is the musicians. She is backed up by exraordinary artists, most of whom are best known from jazz and/or jazz-fusion bands. In addition to Jaco, Wayne Shorter (on soprano sax), drummer John Guerin, Alex Acuña, Don Alias, Manolo Badrena, and Airto (all on percussion) also contribute. Larry Carlton guests on guitar on "Otis and Marlena", and Chaka Kahn sings back-up on "The Tenth World" and "Dreamland". Joni plays guitar and piano equally on this album. Something that really distinguishes this from all her other 70's albums, is the 16+ minute title track; it features (in addition to Joni's voice, piano, and the band) an orchestra conducted by Michael Gibbs. The mood of the whole recording is really special. I believe the cover art suits the feeling very well. There's an interesting combination of freedom and what's obviously arranged, as well as an interesting combination if humour and seriousness. The performance is freer here than on "Hejira", but still strongly recommended to fans of that album and to people interested in enchanting musical performances and sounds.