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Number 273

Joni Mitchell - The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (Asylum Records - K 53018)

I can't actually remember when I first got around to listening to Joni Mitchell's seventh studio album, but it would definitely have been after Ladies of the Canyon, Blue and For the Roses and quite possibly even after Hejira, which in fact came directly after the release of the Hissing of Summer Lawns album in 1976. I admit to being slow to appreciate the more jazzier side of Joni Mitchell from around this time. I felt I hadn’t quite had my fill of the folksy acoustic sound of Big Yellow Taxi, Morning Morgantown and A Case of You and muted trumpets and fretless bass guitars I felt was for an entirely different section of my record collection. After hearing this and subsequent album releases, it seemed futile to resist anymore and I joined the converted. There's some nice surprises on this album, not least the use of Burundi drummers, albeit field recordings, which formed the base of The Jungle Line, and some fine bluesy jazz piano on Harry's House / Centerpiece, featuring The Crusaders' Joe Sample.