I was talking to a friend last week about my love for Joni Mitchell. I’m so tired of almost everything in my CD collection, and most days when I’m home I end up listening to NPR, no matter what’s on (this can be dangerous; David Garland doesn’t make for the most compelling host, yet Nicole and I often find ourselves just listening to his weird neo-classical selections all night).
But, for some reason, Joni’s album Court and Spark still does something for me. Blue is great, but tends to me a little too 18-year-old-girl-alone-in-her-dorm-room for me at times. Court, however, marks the beginning of Joni’s jazz/fusion stage, and is full of wonders.
So my friend suggested I listen to Hejira, the notorious album featuring Jaco Pastorius on bass. For the uninitiated, Pastorious was a hugely popular bass player in the ’70s who is credited (or faulted, depending on your outlook on these things) with popularizing jazz fusion bass. He also looked like this:
He died too young, but he left in his wake a decade of breakthrough, innovative, and supremely cheesy music that sounds a little like Muzak being played through a giant garden hose that’s being swung in circles by an elephant.
Anyway, he’s on Hejira, and due to my friend’s suggestion, I downloaded some of it. And you know, it’s wonderful. Jaco isn’t cheesy at all, Joni is still good, and it’s full of curiosity and depth. I’m grateful for albums like this that jumpstart the dormant music-lover in me.