Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
|Don Juan's Reckless Daughter|
|Studio album by Joni Mitchell|
|Released||December 13, 1977|
|Studio||A&M Studios, Hollywood; orchestra recorded at Columbia Studio C, New York; additional recording at Basing Street Studio, London|
|Genre||Folk jazz, folk rock, jazz fusion, world|
|Joni Mitchell chronology|
|Rolling Stone||(not rated)|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is a 1977 double album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It is unusual for its experimental style, expanding even further on the jazz fusion sound of Mitchell's Hejira from the year before. Mitchell has stated that, close to completing her contract with Asylum Records, she allowed this album to be looser than anything she'd done previously.
Background and content
Much of the album is experimental, but especially so are: "Overture," played with six simultaneous guitars, some in different tunings from others, with vocal echo effects; "The Tenth World," an extended-length instrumental of Latin percussion; and "Dreamland," which features only percussion and voices (including Chaka Khan).
Most experimental of all is "Paprika Plains," a 16-minute song played on improvised piano and arranged with a full orchestra; it takes up all of Side 2. In it, Mitchell narrates a first-person description of a late-night gathering in a bar frequented by Indigenous peoples of Canada, touching on themes of hopelessness and alcoholism. At one point in the narrative, the narrator leaves the setting to watch the rain and enters into a dreamstate, and the lyrics – printed in the liner notes but not sung – become a mixture of references to innocent childhood memories, a nuclear explosion and an expressionless tribe gazing upon the dreamer. The narrator returns inside after the rain passes. In speaking to Anthony Fawcett about working on "Paprika Plains," Mitchell said:
"The Improvisational, the spontaneous aspect of this creative process – still as a poet – is to set words to the music, which is a hammer and chisel process. Sometimes it flows, but a lot of times it's blocked by concept. And if you're writing free consciousness – which I do once in a while just to remind myself that I can, you know, because I'm fitting little pieces of this puzzle together – the end result must flow as if it was spoken for the first time."
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter attracted contributions from prominent jazz musicians, including four current members of Weather Report – Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Manolo Badrena, and Alex Acuña; all of whom would later become frequent collaborators with Mitchell.
All tracks written by Joni Mitchell, except where noted.
|1.||"Overture - Cotton Avenue"||6:41|
|2.||"Talk to Me"||3:45|
|5.||"Otis and Marlena"||4:09|
|6.||"The Tenth World"||Joni Mitchell, Don Alias, Manolo Badrena, Alex Acuña, Airto Moreira, Jaco Pastorius||6:45|
|8.||"Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"||6:36|
|9.||"Off Night Backstreet"||3:20|
|10.||"The Silky Veils of Ardor"||4:01|
- Joni Mitchell – vocals, guitars; piano on "Paprika Plains"
- Jaco Pastorius – bass; bongos on "The Tenth World"; cowbells on "Dreamland"
- John Guerin – drums
- Wayne Shorter – soprano saxophone on "Jericho" and "Paprika Plains"
- Alejandro Acuña – congas, cowbell, backing vocals on "The Tenth World"; shakers on "Dreamland"; ankle bells on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"
- Don Alias – bongos on "Jericho"; congas, claves, backing vocals on "The Tenth World"; snare drum, sandpaper blocks on "Dreamland"; shakers on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"
- Manolo Badrena – congas, coffee cans, lead vocal on "The Tenth World"; congas on "Dreamland"; credited "in spirit" on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"
- Airto Moreira – surdo on "The Tenth World" and "Dreamland"
- Larry Carlton – electric guitar on "Otis And Marlena"
- Michel Colombier – piano on "Otis And Marlena"
- Chaka Khan – backing vocals on "The Tenth World" and "Dreamland"
- Glenn Frey, J.D. Souther – backing vocals on "Off Night Backstreet"
- Michael Gibbs – orchestral arrangements and conductor on "Paprika Plains" and "Off Night Backstreet"
- Bobbye Hall – credited "in spirit" on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"
- El Bwyd – the split-tongued spirit on "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"
- Henry Lewy, Steve Katz – production, mixing
- Robert Ash – assistant engineer
- Frank Laico – orchestra recording
- Glen Christensen – art direction
- Les Krims – artwork on Ms. Mitchell's dress
- Norman Seeff – photography
- Keith Williamson – photoprints
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