Joni Mitchell Travelogue

This bizarre two-disc recording finds the loftiest of singer-songwriters collaborating with a seventy-piece orchestra, revisiting her past work. The arrangements treat Mitchell's tunes as precious artifacts, making little attempt to seduce the listener; only on "The Circle Game," for example, do the strings provide the kind of romantic sonic brocades associated with great orchestral rock. Mitchell -- in strong, ultraconfident voice -- proceeds with her famous jazz inflections, delineating characters such as "Cherokee Louise," who lives under a tunnel. But, the occasional sax flourish notwithstanding, the music does not swing or get loose. Sometimes the album sounds wrongly monumental, as on "Woodstock"; other times, it misses the boat, as on "The Last Time I Saw Richard," which ignores the song's thrilling harmonics. Travelogue translates Joni Mitchell as a scrupulously constructed puzzle. .

JAMES HUNTER
(RS 910 – November 28, 2002)

Otis And Marlena
Amelia
You Dream Flat Tires
Love
Woodstock
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Judgement Of The Moon And Stars (Ludwig's...)
Sire Of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song), The
For The Roses
Trouble Child
God Must Be A Boogie Man
Be Cool
Just Like This Train
Sex Kills
Refuge Of The Roads
Hejira
Chinese Cafe / Unchained Melody
Cherokee Louise
Dawntreader, The
Last Time I Saw Richard, The
Borderline
Circle Game, The