Cheap River: The Joni Letters (with Bonus Tracks) - Amazon.com Exclusive (Music) (Herbie Hancock) Price
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On paper, River sounds like a match made in several versions of heaven. Legendary pianist Herbie Hancock re-imagines Joni Mitchell with his hand-picked, star-studded band--including saxophonist Wayne Shorter--in tow. Luminary guests lend vocals to a song apiece: Norah Jones ("Court and Spark"), Tina Turner ("Edith and the Kingpin"), Corinne Bailey Rae ("River"), Luciana Souza ("Amelia"), Leonard Cohen (with an unsettlingly sanguine version of "The Jungle Line"), even Mitchell herself ("Tea Leaf Prophecy"). In the event, though, a few fundamental elements go awry. Hancock plays with almost saccharine understatement throughout, and even Shorter's seminal "Nefertiti" and Duke Ellington's "Solitude" fall into the album's presiding, somnolent surface, though to a lesser degree does the instrumental version of Mitchell's "Sweet Bird." But girding, and in some measure, saving, the proceedings, the lyrics here testify to a subtler wisdom guiding Hancock's set list. The mix includes a continuum from intrepid classics to dusty, fans-only fare, but a distinct reverence for Joni Mitchell the Poet threads them together, and, in the end, this album works best as a sleepy window into one fan's giddy and particular love affair with his source material. Fans of Hancock win out. --Jason Kirk
| ARTIST: || Herbie Hancock |
| CATEGORY: || Music |
| MANUFACTURER: || Verve |
| FEATURES: || Special Edition |
| TYPE: || Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Modern Creative, Pop |
| MEDIA: || Audio CD |
| TRACKS: || Court and Spark featuring Norah Jones, Edith and the Kingpin featuring Tina Turner, Both Sides Now, River featuring Corinne Bailey Rae, Sweet Bird, Tea Leaf Prophecy featuring Joni Mitchell, Solitude, Amelia featuring Luciana Souza, Nefertiti, The Jungle Line featuring Leonard Cohen, All I Want featuring Sonya Kitchell (Exclusive Bonus Track), A Case of You (Exclusive Bonus Track) |
| # OF MEDIA: || 1 |
| UPC: || 602517477544 |
Customer Review of River: The Joni Letters (with Bonus Tracks) - Amazon.com Exclusive
Tina Turner steals the show!
I have been a fan of Tina Turner all my life. I have seen her sing R&B,Blues,Country,Pop, and Rock. I was nervous when I heard she was going to perform a jazz track. When I heard it was with Herbie Hancock I was relieved, he is music royalty also. I read that Herbie flew to Tina Turner's home in Switzerland to get her to record Edith & Kingpin. Wow, was that flight worth it. I am entranced by this song. Tina's delivery is spot on. Her emotion, her sensuality, her slow gentle persuasion is like no other "Turner" sound you have heard before. I say this track is worth the price of the CD, heck even worth the price of a flight to her home in Switzerland.
Wonderful production, mixing and mastering = Best Album Grammy
It's funny that so many people were surprised when River won the Grammy. I certainly was not. First of all, the Grammy awards is NOT a owned by top 40 hits, like most of the other awards. The Grammy awards are based on what your peers think about your work. Granted, it appears that most of the time top 40 wins out, but not all of the time.
>I predicted most of the nominees well before the nominations were released: Vince Gill-These Days, was released just after the deadline for the Grammy awards when The Dixie Chicks took the top prize. It was a masterpiece: 41 great songs, great production, that great Gill voice, not to mention backed up by some very fine talent, as if he needed any help. I said then that These Days would get a nod this year and it did because it's hard enough to put together 10 great songs, let alone 41.
>Then, there's Winehouse, whose Back To Black is special for capturing the old production style of the 50's and 60's, and doing it in spectacular fashion! Note to younger artists with over-compressed, over-processed vocals: Winehouse sounds like a REAL singer: Even the backing vocals are a little off-key, which is normal for real singers. I never thouhg that Rehab could be a hit on todays top 40 because it sounds like a 60's Motown song, but somehow it worked, so that made this one a shoo-in.
>Then, there's Kayne West. Graduation was sure to get the most votes in teh Hip/Hop R&B vote, so you knew that he was in. Then, there was the return of Joni Mitchell with Shine. Here is an artist who quit because, ironically, she felt that the big records companies were paying too much attention to rap and Hip hop and not enough attention to more thoughtful music. Then, there were the two tribute CDs that came out for Mitchell: One of them River: The Joni Letters. Herbie Hancock and friends and the other, A Tribute To Joni Mitchell, featuring the likes of Prince, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Anne Lennox, Sarah MaLachlan to name a few.
>Clearly, this is an artist who is highly prized by her peers, and remember, that's what Grammy is all about. It's not about some artists telling people that THEY should win, which is something you hear quite frequently from today's Hip Hop artists. One thing that was very clear: Something, either directly or indirectly related to Mitchell would be nominated in that category. And, there's was broad support for a Mitchell win and the only other nominee that could claim as much support would be Vince Gill. The others didn't have a shot, although if you go by pop/top 40 standards, they (Winehouse and West), appeared to be the front runners.
>West had 8 Grammy nods, but if you really look at the math, he could not have possibly won all 8, since each time he's been nominated, he has competed against himself, so the real high nominee was Winehouse and she scored 5 out of 6. Insofar as River-The Joni Letter is concerned, on a quality basis, it was far and away, the best produced, engineered and mastered project of the five nominated albums. Only Gill comes close. I'm amazed that it was not nominated for Best Engineered non-classical, as it should have been there as well.
>In clossing, I respect and appreciate the voting practice of the Grammy members because of the millions of people that we have in the country, most people do not listen to Hip Hop, as hip hop artist may want to think. If that were true, why is it that Winehouse has only been certified platium and West only twice platium? With all of the people in the United States, selling one or two million CDs sounds like a failure to me.
>But then again, it's not so much about sales anyway and it should not be. It is about quality and this time, quality won out. Hey, two years in a row!!!
For Join Mitchell fans from WAY back: this stinks *BAD* !
If you want to hear a *very special* artists best songs **mangled**, or are *high* on something from outer space: buy this.
>It'll end up on oBey or in the trash.
>It NOT for *Hard Core* Joni Mitchell fans at ALL.
>Guess she needed some $$ to allow this guy to mangle her music.
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