The Artistry of… Joni Mitchell

I think she would get a thrill knowing how she confounds and defies us. How the stories of her music, the messages, the emotional expressions do the same. How is it that one moment we think we know who and what she is, and in the next we are not so sure and then her artistry engulfs us, and it just doesn’t matter anymore?

It is jazz because it soars and flies and plays. It is blues because it cries and pleads and consoles. It is Joni because it demands, sees through, straddles and teaches. It is as inclusively within reach as it ought to be, teasing and provocative when you need it to be.

Mitchell romances and flirts shamelessly and cunningly. The music gets deep inside and can set you on a course or coax a spontaneous heavy tear. It’s music that is anchor-free but not just drifting aimlessly. It feels like she has felt it all, and if you need to know how any of it feels, listen to her sing.

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.