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  1. #1

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    I've been playing her songs lately. The melodies and changes are very beautiful and easy to learn---and stand alone without lyrics. The lyrics are amazing, and I want to do her songs with singers I work with.

    I play Both Sides Now, just learned Chelsea Morning, and want to look at Blue and later things.

    It's a shame she ruined that beautiful voice by smoking, and she doesn't look well these days. But what an artist! The songs will live on.

    Here are some:

    joni mitchell chelsea morning - YouTube

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  3. #2

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    I rate Joni and Carol King as the greatest female singer-songwriter artists of the 20th century. But as they would say, just take out the word female from that statement. And they'd be right. They are among the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century. I'm not surprised a fine musician like yourself would be interested.

  4. #3

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    Joni's songs stand the test of time. I've been working on "Down to You." Just a wonderful tune, great chords, great melody, great words. I picked it up from Luciana Souza's great rendition.

    Blue would be a good one. I think I might try "Amelia." I love that song.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    I rate Joni and Carol King as the greatest female singer-songwriter artists of the 20th century. But as they would say, just take out the word female from that statement. And they'd be right. They are among the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century. I'm not surprised a fine musician like yourself would be interested.

    And you take Joni and Carole's output, you have the whole gamut...pop, r&b, soul, folk, art song...

    National treasures.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  6. #5
    There are a bunch of transcriptions here Joni Mitchell - Guitar and Piano Transcriptions . The 'guitar' ones are tabs of her odd tunings, but there are a lot of piano scores that I've found really useful...

    PK

  7. #6

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    I have her in my regular set list. Along with the songs of Kate Bush.

    In addition to Chelsea Morning, I play
    Barandgrill
    The Gallery
    Cactus Tree
    Conversation
    For Free

    Such a great wealth of such beautiful music.
    David

    A gorgeous version of Sunny Sunday done by Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder


  8. #7

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    Joni is a goddess. Plain and simple. Lyrically she can't be touched, except for maybe Sondheim, or Dylan on a good day. Her sense of rhythm sets her apart. Is there a word in the English language she can't make musical? I don't think so.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    I rate Joni and Carol King as the greatest female singer-songwriter artists of the 20th century. But as they would say, just take out the word female from that statement. And they'd be right. They are among the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century. I'm not surprised a fine musician like yourself would be interested.
    I put Carole King in a different---not LESSER category: she's a top-of-the-line songwriting craftsperson, the way (don't laugh) Barry Manilow or the great ASB composers of the generations before hers were. They were like machines, cranking it out like sausage for the recording artists---that was the gig, and they did it brilliantly. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Goffin-King) is a classic of its kind.

    But because writers like Ms. King were writing on assignment for recording artists of every ilk in the pop world, their songs were more generic than personal---again, the gig.

    Joni Mitchell, it seems to me, is a different animal entirely: one of the 'conversational' writers who didn't do it 'by the book' (e.g., 'near' rather than 'true' rhymes---but who cares when they worked so well). I find her work much more personal than Carole King's. She was writing from a deep place. And her songs, of course, were covered many times, meaning she struck a universal chord also.

    The sad fact is that the singer-songwriters of Mitchell's generation----Dylan, the Beatles, etc., etc.----put a kabosh on the Brill Building side of songwriting. The gig was over because these people wrote for themselves. The good news: it led to a solo career for Carole King, starting with the mega-selling LP Tapestry.


    I shouldn't end on a sour note, but I've remembered this for years: Paul Simon took a mean and unfair pot shot at Ms. King years ago:

    'When I hear Carole King, I think of toast. When I hear Carly Simon I hear a human being'.

    As a songwriter myself, and trying-to-be-decent-sort: For shame, Paul!...

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulkogut View Post
    There are a bunch of transcriptions here Joni Mitchell - Guitar and Piano Transcriptions . The 'guitar' ones are tabs of her odd tunings, but there are a lot of piano scores that I've found really useful...

    PK
    Thanks!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    Joni Mitchell, it seems to me, is a different animal entirely: one of the 'conversational' writers who didn't do it 'by the book' (e.g., 'near' rather than 'true' rhymes---but who cares when they worked so well). I find her work much more personal than Carole King's. She was writing from a deep place. And her songs, of course, were covered many times, meaning she struck a universal chord also.
    I don't care for the overuse of Perfect Rhymes. I think it can sound childish like Dr. Seuss (I like Dr. Seuss but he was writing for children). Using the full palate of rhyme types seems much more interesting and creative to me.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I don't care for the overuse of Perfect Rhymes. I think it can sound childish like Dr. Seuss (I like Dr. Seuss but he was writing for children). Using the full palate of rhyme types seems much more interesting and creative to me.
    There are different schools of thought about that. I guess, learn the rules first, then you have license to break 'em.

    Jimmy Webb has been wringing his hands for years b/c 'Time/Line' in Wichita Lineman wasn't a 'true rhyme'.

    Easy, boy!

    As the spirit moves ye...

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    I put Carole King in a different---not LESSER category: she's a top-of-the-line songwriting craftsperson, the way (don't laugh) Barry Manilow or the great ASB composers of the generations before hers were. They were like machines, cranking it out like sausage for the recording artists---that was the gig, and they did it brilliantly. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Goffin-King) is a classic of its kind.

    But because writers like Ms. King were writing on assignment for recording artists of every ilk in the pop world, their songs were more generic than personal---again, the gig.

    Joni Mitchell, it seems to me, is a different animal entirely: one of the 'conversational' writers who didn't do it 'by the book' (e.g., 'near' rather than 'true' rhymes---but who cares when they worked so well). I find her work much more personal than Carole King's. She was writing from a deep place. And her songs, of course, were covered many times, meaning she struck a universal chord also.

    The sad fact is that the singer-songwriters of Mitchell's generation----Dylan, the Beatles, etc., etc.----put a kabosh on the Brill Building side of songwriting. The gig was over because these people wrote for themselves. The good news: it led to a solo career for Carole King, starting with the mega-selling LP Tapestry.


    I shouldn't end on a sour note, but I've remembered this for years: Paul Simon took a mean and unfair pot shot at Ms. King years ago:

    'When I hear Carole King, I think of toast. When I hear Carly Simon I hear a human being'.

    As a songwriter myself, and trying-to-be-decent-sort: For shame, Paul!...
    Tapestry should have put those thoughts to rest, I think.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  14. #13

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    You'd think the name pop stars would be above this---with all the moolah and fame----but a lot of them are pettier than the poorer jazzers. Go figure...

  15. #14

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    I have her in my regular set list. Along with the songs of Kate Bush.

    In addition to Chelsea Morning, I play
    Barandgrill
    The Gallery
    Cactus Tree
    Conversation
    For Free

    Such a great wealth of such beautiful music.
    These are some of my favorite songs. Thanks for doing these.
    There's no money above the fifth fret.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    You'd think the name pop stars would be above this---with all the moolah and fame----but a lot of them are pettier than the poorer jazzers. Go figure...
    Skin Deep only.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  17. #16
    Ok I can't help myself. This artist means so much to me.

    Oh and in this song, she rhymes "typewriters" with "typewriters" and "humming" with "humming".

    There are no rules really.
    Some Larry Carlton genius lines as well.....


  18. #17

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    Anyone who could get the cats in Weather Report as their studio band is a genius in my book.

  19. #18

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    Her odd guitar playing on God Must Be A Boogie Man from Mingus is wonderful. In fact that whole album is one of my favourites, a celebration of two genius bass players:

    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 06-20-2017 at 02:20 AM.

  20. #19

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    I love this video. She shure could hang with the best musicians...


  21. #20

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    Carol King is great song-writer but she is more in commercial style... using lots of cliches of pop.
    Not that it is bad, but this is more for the market thing.

    Joni does not go for any compromise as a song-writer... and to me she is much bigger as a personality in her songs and music...
    it's hard to compare her with almost anyone...

    I like playing Joni's songs also becasue she uses lots of different tunings and subtle nuances in what seems to be simple changes... but if you play these changes too sttraigh it will not sound interesting... trying to figure out these details is much fun for me when playing her songs...


    Joni Mitchell, it seems to me, is a different animal entirely: one of the 'conversational' writers who didn't do it 'by the book' (e.g., 'near' rather than 'true' rhymes---but who cares when they worked so well).
    I believe in modern poetry using false, complex or consonant rhymes is much more challenging and interesting than just common perfect rhymes...

  22. #21

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    I heard that she got a synth guitar at some point and stored maybe as many as 100 different tunings in it.
    That seems like a good use for that guitar.

  23. #22

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    I like what David Crosby said about Joni Mitchell, when he first heard her and introduced her to Graham Nash; he basically said "She's so good, nobody is that good, but she is." Carol King; yeah, she's this vault of lyrics and melodies. P.B.S. did an program about her that was really good. Life Magazine "Rock and Roll at 50 Years," called one of the best Song Writers of our Time. I can see that for sure!

  24. #23

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    It's kind of a shame that Carol King is being compared to Joni Mitchell as Carol King has a large body of work and is a great songwriter.

    Joni though, to me, is in a league of her own. I don't think anyone should be compared to her.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  25. #24

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    And this...

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  26. #25

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    [QUOTE=fasstrack;781760]I put Carole King in a different and all the rest of your post,


    really interesting thanks, i have heard them but not well or etheryhing, never thought of things like that
    King doing commercial stuff and Mitchel entirely her own,

    i have just come to like Billy Joel (never disliked him just never really listen) also good. well it new-ish to me
    Bebop & Jazz can make you too selective .

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    Carol King is great song-writer but she is more in commercial style... using lots of cliches of pop.
    Think it's EASY writing those 'cliches'? It is NOT. To create a perfect marriage between lyric, melody and style takes hard, dogged work---and LOTS of rewrites (and hair-tearing).

    Any songwriter (and I've been one since noodling around at age 10) will tell you that to craft the best lyric FOR THAT SONG you use whatever it takes, novelty phrases, true rhyme, false rhyme, no rhyme (Moonlight in Vermont). Of COURSE you don't want to resort to cliche, but sometimes---on a deadline like CarolE (NOT Carol) King had to continually meet sometimes you can find no other word.

    Oscar Hammerstein always regretted the word 'divine' ('I'll know the joy divine'...) in All the Things You Are. Jimmy Webb has been crying for years b/c 'time/line' aren't 'true rhymes'.

    Maybe Ms. King's 'Oh, baby---when I see your face...' isn't up there with lines from The Twelfth Night, but you know what? 'I Feel the Earth Move' and all the above songs have stood the test of time----and will outlive all of us...

  28. #27

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    As much as I love Joni Mitchell (and Carole King) she drops a cliche in there now and then. I not going to make a list but it can get a little corny at times. Hollywood hippie chick stuff, kind of like some of her paintings. Bob Dylan might be one of the only songwriters that rarely if ever resorted to using a cliche unless it was for comic effect, which is probably one reason why he won the prize recently.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    Think it's EASY writing those 'cliches'? It is NOT. To create a perfect marriage between lyric, melody and style takes hard, dogged work---and LOTS of rewrites (and hair-tearing).

    Any songwriter (and I've been one since noodling around at age 10) will tell you that to craft the best lyric FOR THAT SONG you use whatever it takes, novelty phrases, true rhyme, false rhyme, no rhyme (Moonlight in Vermont). Of COURSE you don't want to resort to cliche, but sometimes---on a deadline like CarolE (NOT Carol) King had to continually meet sometimes you can find no other word.

    Oscar Hammerstein always regretted the word 'divine' ('I'll know the joy divine'...) in All the Things You Are. Jimmy Webb has been crying for years b/c 'time/line' aren't 'true rhymes'.

    Maybe Ms. King's 'Oh, baby---when I see your face...' isn't up there with lines from The Twelfth Night, but you know what? 'I Feel the Earth Move' and all the above songs have stood the test of time----and will outlive all of us...
    You respond to something did not write

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  30. #29

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    I think putting 'female song writing' category is wrong. The fact they are women can affect the topic they choose sometimes, but it has nothing to do with quality of song writing. In this thread they are put on the same board for no reason. They do each their job but it's very different jobs and that they are both women should not be the reason to begin comparison.

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  31. #30

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    As much as I love Joni Mitchell (and Carole King) she drops a cliche in there now and then. I not going to make a list but it can get a little corny at times. Hollywood hippie chick stuff, kind of like some of her paintings. Bob Dylan might be one of the only songwriters that rarely if ever resorted to using a cliche unless it was for comic effect, which is probably one reason why he won the prize recently.


    I believe American music is so much influenced by business approach that it became a part of aesthetics even (Hollywood is a good example too. I am not sure I can find a single American film director who would be completely aesthetically free from the influence of business industry - maybe Orson Welles... I mean aesthetical influence that is when you do (or change) something artistic in the movie because it's the logics of the market... it's not necessarily bad... we can see lots of good movies like some of Woody Allen, Scorcese, Kazan (or even Spielberg sometimes) etc that do not avoid this influence and manage to make it a part of piece of arts).
    Same thing happens to music too... I think it is getting to be just a part of nature maybe even...

    I would say there are gifted professional song-writers and lyricits who manage to follow market demands, operating all these cliches and all and still sound fresh and interesting...

    And there are 'singing poets' who just ignore these market issues... but again I am sure if it is completely possible in America...

    To me one of of the wittest case is Randy Newman... he is like fooling everybody around all the time... juggling with cleches always on the edge that you cannot get if it is serious or not.. because if it is serious it is too corny but he always does something taht makes you feel that he is not.. but still he is...

    Joni follows much more rock rebellion tradition... that chose deliberately to ignore that market thing which does not mean they could really follow it becasue if it is a part of a nature than you can hardly aviod it even conciously...

    I agree that sometimes Joni uses some kind of expresiions that seem a bit on the edge of corny... but all in all her aesthetics is different - general approach somehow turns these cliches into individual expression...
    Though sometimes it seems to me that she did some lyrics a bit in hurry... like not trying to overview it...

    Another important point form me... actually maybe the most important one about he (that's why I inderline it)

    Her lyrics is strictly connected with very individual and specific intonation and rythmic style of singing...

    I think in her art it is probably one of the most important sources where it comes from... she seems to derive lyrics from basic 'humming', some inner rythm she has... and I believe that's where here specific comping patterns and chords come from.. she just tries to find some comping that fits her inner hearing.

    Bob Dylan is more subtle for me as a writer... but in a way namely as a writer... his work fits paper much more.

    As per Carol King - her starting point seems to be already in the some predetermined conditions.

    It's like Lennon/McCartney thing.. McCartney is great but his song writing from the very beginning was in the trend of combining traditional professional song-writing tools used with great talent, oftne very subtle and exquisite..
    And Lennon sometimes just takes a couple of chords and sounds like he just invented song-writing...

    In a way Joni and John stay ever amateurs artistically... they do not learn anything except their own thing.



  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee View Post
    As much as I love Joni Mitchell (and Carole King) she drops a cliche in there now and then. I not going to make a list but it can get a little corny at times. Hollywood hippie chick stuff, kind of like some of her paintings. Bob Dylan might be one of the only songwriters that rarely if ever resorted to using a cliche unless it was for comic effect, which is probably one reason why he won the prize recently.
    Who among us is perfect?

    Horace Silver was sometimes corny (The Preacher, some of his playing---quote after quote----and, speaking of lyrics, whew---well-meant but wince-worthy), but we remember his great songs, tight band and propulsive swing of his playing.

    Stevie Wonder writes the most beautiful melodies this side of heaven, but sometimes gets away with murder in his lyrics ('You make me smile, you make me sing, you make me feel GOOD'S EVERYTHING'. C'mon. Most singers covering Too Shy to Say sing '...and everything). I think his best lyrics were co-written w/Syreeta Wright.

    So even the greats aren't perfect---and that's the beauty of it, they're human---like us. Criticism has a place---in study it helps show what not to do. When it takes on a life of its own...

    Tom Harrell is the best musician of all of us, and besides being amazingly gifted and a hard worker I think his secret is finding the good in the music he hears by others...

  33. #32

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    Ain't nobody perfect. Joni says it herself in her song You Turn Me on I'm a Radio. "I'm a country station I'm a little bit corny".

  34. #33

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    Hostage smiles on Presidents
    Freedom scribbled in the subways

    off Shadows and Light
    The whole lyric is superb ...

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    I've been playing her songs lately. The melodies and changes are very beautiful and easy to learn---and stand alone without lyrics. The lyrics are amazing, and I want to do her songs with singers I work with... what an artist! The songs will live on.
    I am very glad you brought Joni's work to this forum! She is simply remarkable and an icon of a generation. You have no doubt seen this, but in case others have not, I thought to share a link to her concert in Paris featuring Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Lyle Mays, and Don Alias. What a night that must have been ...


  36. #35

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    Joni Mitchell - a breathtaking, astonishing artist, in my humble opinion. Beyond a certain point, comparisons can become odious, and I won't say she has no equal, even if I might be tempted. But certainly, surely, an artist of the very very highest level. Saying that, yes, occasionally I've found the odd thing she did a bit corny - I often think we like even great artists, despite their flaws, and not because we are blind to them. It's just that they are so obviously great, their work so powerful, that such things become entirely unimportant.

    For myself, Hissing of Summer Lawns has always been a favourite album - she was just on another level at this point, and the music just has such a wonderful, and unique vision.


  37. #36

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    your 21 and rich..famous..sex drugs and rock and roll..and rolls with top players in make believe..flies away..hugs Jazz by its invitation..takes off the safety vest..the parachute the survival jacket and access to dreams hopes and fears..arrows of people who just learned how to write and cant dance..but are learning how to read the second verse..purity crucified with technology so clean and painless you want one in every color
    play well ...
    wolf

  38. #37

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    Though I love all of Joni's songs, this one just swings like no other:



    And what a painter as well!