River: The Joni Letters

Studio Album by released in 2007
River: The Joni Letters's tracklist:
Court and Spark (feat. Norah Jones)
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Edith and the Kingpin (feat. Tina Turner)
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Both Sides Now
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Sweet Bird
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Tea Leaf Prophecy (feat. Joni Mitchell)
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Solitude
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Amelia (feat. Luciana Souza)
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Nefertiti
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The Jungle Line (feat. Leonard Cohen)
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River: The Joni Letters review

Hard-working pianist

Multiple Grammy winner, owner of many other respectful awards, legendary jazz pianist and experimentator Herbie Hancock was born in 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. Being a talented kid he started playing the piano at age 7, and being 11 he already played Mozart with the Chicago Symphony at concerts. Around high school age he liked jazz after listening to Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and others. Hancock gave up studying at college only a year before graduating and devoted himself to the music. Soon he was invited to the band of Miles Davis and played there up to 1968, managing to record multiple solo sessions. Officially he was fired for late coming back from the honeymoon, in fact Hancock left to form his own quintet - and recorded three cult experimental works, known as the Mwandishi albums. After this the famous pianist switched to the avant-garde music and founded his funk collective The Headhunters - to promote this style into masses. Then Hancock played acid jazz, disco and pop, made many appearences and recorded multiple discs... This year he decided to explore the creativity of his friend and colleague Joni Mitchel on the album River: The Joni Letters.

River: The Joni Letters - collaboration made by stars

This jazz veteran has a fantastic ability to work - River: The Joni Letters is the number 47 album in Hancock's long career. Hancock and his friend, saxophone genious, Wayne Shorter play a magnificent and mesmerizing mixture of jazz and adult pop music on this disc. The work can boast of many celebrited vocalist appearances - even the author of the songs sang her own The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms). The disc is opened by the full of improvisations Court And Spark with Norah Jones' soft tender vocals. Sweet Bird and Nefertiti feature no vocals and are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Hancock and Shorter's duet. River, the titling track, features excellent jazz singer Corinne Bailey Rae. Edith And The Kingpin with the R&B legend Tina Turner on vocals is a pleasantly suprising composition, Turner's voice sounds very natural and languid in this beautiful ballad. One more outstanding track is The Jungle Line, where Leonard Cohen reads the lyrics to Hancock's music.

The restless master keeps on experiments

In 2005, Hancock released the collaborative work Possibilities, featuring rock and pop stars from all over the world like Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, Sting and others in duets with the celebrited pianist and composer. After this release it became clear for everyone that the legendary jazzman started a new phase in his long and rich for fruits career. River: The Joni Letters is the continuation of his new set of experiments, on which it is impossible to draw a line between the jazz aesthetics with its brave improvization and the melodical lightness of pop. Moreover, Hancock managed to create a universal collection of songs, perfectly fitting to enlarge the musical property of both the fans of Hancock and Mitchell, and classical instrumental and modern music listeners. This session will be for sure interesting also for those, who adore Tina Turner, Norah Jones and other guest collaborators. River: The Joni Letters has a stylish jazz flavour, though it sounds extremely fresh and up to date.