River: The Joni Letters
Released: Sep 2007
Herbie Hancock chooses sublime selections from the Joni Mitchell songbook and matches them with Duke Ellington's "Solitude" and Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," two classics that inspired her. Hancock's small group concentrates on showcasing the songs and backing such vocal contributors as Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae and Tina Turner (who performs a revelatory "Edith and the Kingpin"). Mitchell herself steps up to the mic for "The Tea Leaf Prophecy," while Leonard Cohen ends things on a menacing note with an enigmatic reading of "The Jungle Line." An unqualified success for all involved.