Recuerdo, or we celebrate Joni Mitchell’s Blue with some Edna St. Vincent Millay   Leave a comment

I received an email on Frank’s post on the 24th. The title got my attention immediately; “Recuerdo, or we celebrate Joni Mitchell’s Blue with some Edna St. Vincent Millay.” Taking Frank’s warning as to the post length, I decided Sunday morning would be a better time to read about “My Old Ladies” of music and poetry. I took the time to read it twice. I recommend your reading it at least once. — kenne

Frank Hudson

A longish one this time. I’ll try to make it worth your while.

In the places I go it has been hard to escape Joni Mitchell and the 50-year anniversary of her breakthrough record album Blue  this month. Mitchell is one of those artists like Emily Dickinson* or Thelonious Monk who people contemporaneously recognized as someone on the scene, someone whose work might appear at hand or gain mention — but then decades afterward the level of originality and importance of what they had done becomes more and more clear.

Mitchell’s Blue  wasn’t immediately recognized as a classic, successful statement. Musically it’s a bit odd, even by the eclectic field of 1971 recordings. Though “singer-songwriter”** was a growing genre at the time, most of them would present their songs in a full band context on record. Instead, Mitchell’s record is spare, often just her voice and one instrument —…

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Posted June 27, 2021 by kenneturner in Information

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