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Mingus CD

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Audio CD, CD, October 25, 1990
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When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century. Uncompromising and iconoclastic, Mitchell confounded expectations at every turn; restlessly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk stylings into pop, jazz, avant-garde, and even world music, presaging the multicultural experimentation of the ... Read more in Amazon's Joni Mitchell Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Mingus + Hejira + The Hissing of Summer Lawns
Price for all three: $38.07

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GWV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,933 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Happy Birthday
2. God Must Be A Boogie Man
3. Funeral
4. A Chair In The Sky
5. The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey
6. I's A Muggin'
7. Sweet Sucker Dance
8. Coin In The Pocket
9. The Dry Cleaners From Des Moines
10. Lucky
11. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Joni touched us deep with her poetic wisdom and wit.
Earl Hooks
On first listen I was dissapointed but knowing that most good albums take a while for the splendour to surface I didn't worry too much.
A terrifying band, featuring Jaco, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Don Alias, Peter Erskine, Emil Richards... wow.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Damien Bjorn Ruud on July 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Female artists (Laura Nyro, Joni, Rickie Lee) are always getting the short end of the stick. When this album was released it was generally deemed a failure and it got no airplay and fell off the charts. Listening to it 22 years later I can't believe how underrated it has become. If you thought Joni was just a flower-powered folk singer then you were wrong. This is some of the most spacey, haunting, and eccentric music out there. Oh, the instruments may seem familiar but the way they are used is just plain out there. Jaco Pastorius can make his bass sound like a trumpet, sax, piano, Fender Rhodes, synth and more. Joni's guitar playing had never been or never was again this powerful or primal. Highlights: everything. God Must Be a Boogie Man a duet between Joni's guitar and Jaco's bass combines her haunting vocals backed by a chorus of what sounds like escapees from a mental institution. The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey: with Joni's near perfect phrasing and a devil-may-care guitar strum. The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines: an uptempo jazz-tune which, in a just world, would have been a great single. Oh and one more thing, Joni's voice would never again be this perfect. She had trained her voice and it has never sounded better. It didn't have that high screechy, nails-on-the-chalkboard sound of her early days, nor the Tom Waits-gravel quality it has today. This is an essential part of Joni's oeuvre. Get it now.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album, along with Joni's masterpieces The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira, taught me to LISTEN to music, to appreciate the subtleties and complexities. Joni has said that this album cost her everything, meaning that it soured pop radio programmers on her work. Well, that's the down-side. The up-side is, well, take a listen: Dry Cleaner from Des Moines cooks! The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey is a haunting synthesis of under-your-skin vocals, powerful acoustic guitar and -- wolves! Sweet Sucker Dance is charming, and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat couldn't be more memorable and does justice to the classic jazz composition. This album taught me to love jazz and introduced me to contemporary and old-time jazz legends. I'm glad I have more sense than radio programmers.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
An excellent album, each track is thoughtful and evocative. I was immediately impressed by the qulaity of musicianship on this album, the funny thing is, Joni Mitchell always had excellent musicians on all of her albums.
I am big jazz fan, so names like Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius get my attention. The song writing is different, Joni was very daring to write lyrics to Mingus music, a music never ordinary or simplistic!
Jaco's contributions are hard to ignore, his bass should actually be counted as a second lead vocal! His playing is spectacular, as always, and his horn part on "The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines" is fantastic. He really brings a groove to the recordings, I actually enjoy listening to him more as a sideman than I do as a soloist. He maintains a discipline when he records with Joni Mitchell which makes his playing more outstanding. His extra voice can not be ignored on this record, it is clear that his presence was insightful.
I must echo other reviewers by saying, don't give up on the first listening. This is complicated and serious music but it is worth a good listen. Joni is exploring a new territory, so her style is different and barely echoes her "Court and Spark" days. I do think that if you want to lead into Mingus the best way to do so would be through Court and Spark and then The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Both albums illustrate a transition from the folky and introspective Mitchell to the hard playing artist interested in experimentation rather relating to the listener.
I definetly recommend this album and I think that if you go in with an open and adventurous mind, you will not be disappointed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Busy Body on June 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The beauty of Joni Mitchell's music is that apart from being absolutely timeless, it has a brilliant way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. Fifth album "For The Roses" grew on me in a way I'd not expected about a year ago. I now class it as one of her best records. The same has just happened with "Mingus." I bought this album about eight months ago and listened to it a bit but didn't take to it much. I was well aware of Mitchell's decreasing popularity and acclaim around the time of this album's release. Perhaps this is why I wasn't expecting much to begin with and was initially disappointed. The whole jazz song wasn't working for me either. I adored "Hejira" and "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter," but there was something missing from this album.

Two weeks ago it all clicked. Mingus simply takes a little while longer to digest than her earlier albums. By this point Joni had honed her skills and her voice had never sounded better. Infact, I'd go as far as to say that her voice doesn't sound better on any other album. It's rich and velvety; much more matured than the high yelp she became famous for a decade previously, and much smoother than the throaty cooing of this past decade as a result of 50 years heavy smoking. Joni was heavy influenced by jazz legend Charles Mingus during the record process. The album is pretty much a dedication to him. By surrounding herself with such a wonderful crop of musicians as Eddie Gomez, John Guerin, Herbie Hancock and of course Pastorius, Joni made one of the best albums in her already prestigious cannon - and arguably the most underrated.

The album opens with "Happy Birthday 1975 (Rap)" which is almost one minute long.
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