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Joni Mitchell - Shadows and Light

4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD features Joni performing live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in 1979, with backup musicians Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Don Alias and The Percussion. Also includes 45 rare photos, hand-picked by Joni, from the "Sha


NOTE:If we click "song selection" only 5 tracks will be displayed but if you click "Play" and select the Skip track function, all tracks will be available.

Amazon.com

Joni Mitchell's 1970s and '80s forays into jazzier territory may have distressed her folkie faithful, but they also resulted in some uncompromising, challenging, and, yes, entertaining music. Witness this 73-minute document from her '79 tour, which finds her backed by her greatest band ever, including guitarist Pat Metheny and the extraordinary bassist Jaco Pastorius, as well as Metheny cohort Lyle Mays (keyboards), Michael Brecker (sax), and Don Alias (drums). Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns-Hejira-Mingus period is heavily favored; there are two tunes from Court and Spark, but nothing earlier. It's not perfect--the film clips edited into the live tracks (at Mitchell's direction) are an annoying distraction (Rebel Without a Cause? Huh?). But by the time Mitchell, Mays, and vocal group the Persuasions finish a spine-tingling version of the title song, you'll have witnessed something special--and historic, as this was the only time this stellar crew toured together. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Featuring: The Persuasions, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Don Alias, Lyle Mays, and Michael Brecker
  • Songs: In France They Kiss on Main Street, Edith and the King Pin, Coyote, Free Man in Paris, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Jaco's Solo (The High and the Mighty/Third Stone from the Sun), Dry Cleaner from Des Moines, Amelia, Pat's Solo, Hejira, Black Crow, Furry Sings the Blues, Raised on Robbery, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Shadows and Light
  • Tour photo diary

Product Details

  • Actors: Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009AV7L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,028 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Joni Mitchell - Shadows and Light" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Shadows and Light was already one of my favorite albums the day I walked into a stereo store and saw the laserdisk version playing on a big screen TV. I was in awe for the next hour or so, being a huge Weather Report, Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell fan. I agree--release this on DVD! It's quite a thrill see Jaco here at his best--his madman solo, his deep groove and his majestic tone. Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays' unique sound creates a rich harmonic blend with Joni's songs which is nothing short of beautiful. This lineup perfectly complements the Mingus compositions and is a great follow-up to that album. And Joni's vocals and phrasing are at their peak. Complaints? I'd rather see the musicians than video clips of James Dean and Joni in a big bird suit. Also the camera work leaves a bit to be desired, with achingly slow pans and a few bad angles. Finally, why can't they give us the whole concert? The first U.S. version of the CD is missing 3 songs that were on the double LP. The video is only 60 minutes long, and doesn't have all the songs from the double LP. The new U.S. double CD has the 3 songs restored, but we never hear the Jaco solo on CD or album. I heard news (on a Jaco web site) of a Japanese re-release in 1999 (VHS-75 min.) which adds Hejira at the conclusion of Amelia/Pat's Solo, and another song...this piecemeal stuff is maddening. But these are minor points. However you get to see or hear it, this is a bright moment in time with the best group of players I've ever seen together. A must for anyone who likes any or all of these musicians. Again--RELEASE THIS ON DVD!
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Format: DVD
Yes, it's Joni at the peak of her powers, backed by musicians who would become legends, if they weren't already. And if you close your eyes you can lose yourself in it.
Open your eyes, and chances are even you won't see what you expect. Pastorius, Brecker, and Alias play an incredible blues jam, but the video is a bunch of poorly-shot b-roll of the Vegas Strip. "Hejira" is a music video with ice skaters. A stunning performance of "Amelia" is obscured with archival footage of the flyer, which itself obscures the meaning and metaphor of the lyric.
Yes, it's a product of its era, when concert-video producers seemed to think that watching the musicians play would somehow bore the audience, but that doesn't help now. There were moments when I wanted to throw a brick through the TV screen, I was so frustrated by hearing incredible playing that I wasn't allowed to see because somebody thought some old movie clip would be more interesting.
5 stars for the music. 1 star for the video.
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Format: VHS Tape
Someone at Warner Home Video needs to pull their head out and get this amazing concert film back on the shelves! This is Joni at her best with the greatest backing group of musicians in history! Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker and Don Alias provide an amazing platform for Joni's songs to spring from. And it's all set in the beautiful Santa Barbara County Bowl, one the great outdoor ampitheaters in the world. Plus Joni has added some interesting visuals, not to mention snipets of James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" to liven up this wonderful piece. So why can't you or I buy it? Warner's has kept it out of print and is really dropping the ball on this one. Send them a nasty e-mail and tell them to reissue it now in DVD and VHS!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is wonderful; a real "must have". Metheny, Pastorius, and company are terrific with Joni; however, the DVD (a short single disc) should have at least provided us with some bonus footage or interviews of participants from this legendary tour. There must be some great additional film buried in a vault somewhere. What a shame.
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Format: DVD
Finally!!! This 1979 historically significant concert is released in digital format. Joni Mitchell's "Shadows and Light" concert is significant for three reasons: 1) Combining Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorious, Lyle Mayes and Don Alias (all first rate solo Jazz stars in their own right) pushes Joni's music through the roof of excellence for pop, Jazz and World Music. The chemsitry is exceptional and the song selections fit right into the pocket of these great musicians improvisational skills. 2) This was the last time that Pat Metheny and Jaco played together. Seeing them jam live is a musical treat. 3) Joni is in top form and pushed to new heights on some of her classic tracks. Her music has never sounded better - and seeing it performed this way is candy for both your ears and eyes.
The hightlights of the concert are numerous. My favorite moments include the exceptional battle between Jaco and Brecker on "Dry Cleaner From Des Moines". They push each other to atmospheric heights as the rest of the band hangs on for dear life. "Goodbeye Pork Pie Hat" will break your heart - with Joni's lyrics telling the story of Lester Young's life to a back drop of bass harmonics and musical sensibility that had to make Charlie Mingus smile from heaven. The band flat out rocks on "In France They Kiss on Main Street" and "Black Crow". It is great to see Pat Metheny play in this format. Whether comping behind the beat or soloing - it is easy to see why he is considered one of the best and most flexible guitarist out there. Brecker is right at home with these guys and Alias is exceptional in keeping all the magic glued together. The star of this performance is Joni. Her poetic writing and excellent voice pulls you into each song and let's you fully take in the music.
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