Stories » Diana Krall plays the close reader on 'Amelia' and 'For the Roses' at Joni Mitchell's '75Birthday Celebration' / WBGO: Take Five

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Diana Krall plays the close reader on 'Amelia' and 'For the Roses' at Joni Mitchell's '75Birthday Celebration' / WBGO: Take Five

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Last November, a starry array of musicians gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the 75th birthday of Joni Mitchell, whose legacy as a singer-songwriter defies any constrictive label you might apply to it. Decca has now documented that evening with an album, Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, featuring Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, Emmylou Harris and others. The musical directors for the evening were a pair of jazz musicians, pianist Jon Cowherd and drummer Brian Blade. And one of the marquee artists was Diana Krall, singing "Amelia," from the 1976 album Hejira.

Ann Powers attended the concert and wrote a brilliant essay for NPR Music. Her words perfectly capture the intimacy and subtly involution of this performance: "Krall, for whom Mitchell's music was a bridge from straight jazz to the more eclectic music that made her famous, played the close reader on ‘Amelia' and ‘For the Roses,' her interactions with bassist Christopher Thomas suggesting thorny conversations she's had with herself about these songs for years."

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