Joni Mitchell: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Joni Mitchell (vocals, guitar)
Mingus (Asylum 2-505)
Joni Mitchell (vocals, guitar), Wayne Shorter (soprano sax), Herbie Hancock (electric piano), Jaco Pastorius (electric bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Emil Richards (percussion), Don Alias (percussion).
Composed by Charles Mingus, with lyrics by Joni Mitchell.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, spring 1979
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
Non-jazz artists flirting with jazz are usually slumming. Not so Joni Mitchell, whose respect for the art led her to collaborate with a dying Charles Mingus. Financially, Mingus was for Mitchell a paean in the ass, shooting down her high-flying popularity faster than a surface-to-air missile. Artistically, however, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" hit the moon. Mitchell's ode set to Mingus's 1959 instrumental is, fittingly under the circumstances, more about him than about the song's nominal subject, Lester Young. Her reference to "dangerous clowns, balancing dreadful and wonderful perceptions" is a haunting epitaph for a dreadful and wonderful giant of jazz, who died on January 5, 1979, a few months prior to Joni's recording.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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