Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Don Juan's Reckless Daughter?

Why is Joni Mitchell's 1977 release Don Juan's Reckless Daughter my sixth favorite album of all-time?

The utter freshness and boldness of this kind of experimental 'fusion.'

The presence and playing of burning supernova Jaco Pastorius.

Joni's unique and unusual 'percussive' approach to playing acoustic guitar.

The presence, contributions, and integration of musicians from the Jazz Fusion group, Weather Report (Pastorius, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and percussionists Airto Moriera, Don Alias, Manolo Badrena, and Alex Acuña).

The contributions of other guests such as The Eagles Glen Frey and J.D. Souther, Michael Guerin, Larry Carlton, Michael Colombier, and Chaka Khan.

Michael Gibb's orchestration. "Paprika Plains" and "Off Night Backsteet" are blessed with some earstriking orchestral work as composed and performed by Michael Gibbs and

The presence and contribution of black hipster, Art Nouveau.

The odd, obscure, adventurousness and yet accessibility of this collection of songs.

Joni's impeccable, crystal clear voice.

Joni's poetic, provocative, emotional, distinctive, and beautiful singing.

Joni's provocative, poetic, witty, intelligent lyrics.

Joni's unique phrasing.

The album art. Striking earth reddish brown and turquoise-blue sky colors contrasting as background/foreground to the photos and paintings of Joni.

The amazing duo of songs, "The Tenth World" and "Dreamland" which contains only vocalists and percussionists.

The beautiful, amazingly poetic and bloody-hand-inducing repetitive bass slide of Jaco Pastorius on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter."

The percussion work of Airto, Don Alias, Alejandro (Alex) Acuña, and Manolo Badrena.

The amazing feat of an all-too rare 'perfect side' in Side 1 ("Overture/Cotton Avenue," "Talk to Me," and "Jericho"). Three amazing songs on so many levels.

The genius and courage to improv "Paprika Plains" with orchestration!

An altogether incredible jazz-pop experience, comparable only to that of Steely Dan's Aja.

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