Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Court and Spark - Joni Mitchell interview from 1974

Joni Mitchell's sixth album, 'Court and Spark' was released 45 years ago. I recently unearthed this interview from the US pop magazine 'Raves', which appeared in June 1974. In it, Joni talks about the evolution of her songwriting craft and her ongoing sense of loneliness.

The interviewer paints Joni as a tragic Garbo-like figure who had retreated from the LA music scene for some time, only recently re-emerging with her new album and a tour that took in a series of dates in London.

Joni had changed and indicated she had undergone "a painful transition" - "I was too close to my own work," she said. She took to the psychiatrist's couch - "I was practically catatonic," but that provided no solution.

She found some answers in the writing of German novelist Hermann Hesse. As she skimmed the book 'Narcissus and Goldmund' she ran across a passage in which Narcissus the priest does not reproach Goldmund for his lack of insight into himself. Instead, he advises him to 'get his life in focus'.

Travel also broadened her mind and ultimately she "gained a perspective and distance on most of my songs."

She emerges, said the reviewer, "as a talented entertainer, rather than the emotional registrar of experiences."

Court and Spark marked the beginning of the most musically fulfilling period of her career. The confidence shines through in the performances from the London shows.

Joni embraced the opportunity of working with talented jazz players like Tom Scott, John Guerin and Robben Ford.

The results, in her next album, would blow away any notion that she was just a confessional singer/songwriter. But that's another story, told here:

Here's an excerpt from the London concerts with Tom Scott and the LA Express:
see also:
Joni Mitchell in the 70s - Court and Spark 

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