Seven Saturdays ago on Radio 3 Jeffery Smith played Edith and The Kingpin performed by Herbie Hanncock and sung by Tina Turner (click). And so it began. It’s a Joni Mitchell song, of course, so the chords sounded familiar, haunting yet still distantly exotic. Blew mind instantly. Instant bliss. I know jazz isn’t considered cool. Don’t give a monkey’s. This transported me somewhere I wanted to be. Wanted to stay it turned out.
Acquired it immediately and was soon on my plane to New York listening to it. As the increasingly distant London kicked off into rioting I dissolved into Herbie’s arrangement of Joni’s song, realising that she is in fact not just a genius writer, but a genius jazz writer. Many of you already know that it’s from an award winning album from 2007 called River : The Joni Letters, don’t you (click)? Regardless finding the album waiting for me when I returned to London, I started to fall for the whole thing.
Track after track. Corinne Bailey Rae doing River. Norah Jones singing Court and Spark. Cannot stop playing it. Know heading for overkill oblivion, but what’s the point in restraint when something feels this right? Tragic, but for now I remain suspended in gentle ecstasy. Cushioned in luxurious tones and poetry. For now, it goes on. It’s becoming significant in other ways.
Stubbs sailed off down River for the present.