Review: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell has elevated herself from being a leader of the original folk-pop movement through an apotheosis into a commanding jazz vocal stylist. This 22-track 2-CD release focuses on Joni’s stunning work with a 70-piece orchestra. Even during its creation, this opus was conceived as a magnificent, high watermark. Filmmakers Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging) and Alistair Donald (Wingspan) thus duly captured then recording.

While the recording is new, the material spans Joni’s entire career, reaching back to selections off her albums of the early 1970s like “The Dawntreader”, “Woodstock” and “Trouble Child”. Albums right up to the present day are sampled for this release. Enhanced by a 20-member choir and featured musical guests (Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Plas Johnson, Billy Preston etc.), one feels that we are hearing Joni’s songs with no limits, expressed with every timbre and voicing she would have. Much more than greatest hits, Travelogue is the greatest realization of Joni’s material.