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Hejira

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Editors’ Notes

There's a windswept quality to Joni Mitchell's Hejira that goes beyond the landscapes depicted in its songs. This 1976 album is a travel diary set to an expansive and evocative jazz-rock score. Coolly luminous, the music frames lyrics at once intimately conversational and meticulously poetic. Love and distance are the two great themes on Mitchell's mind — "Coyote" and "A Strange Boy" recount affairs on the run, while "Amelia" and "Black Crow" examine the high costs of freedom. Extended narratives like "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge Of The Roads" have the emotional nuance and detail of fine short stories. The title track rushes by like a cold stream, lit from within by haunting imagery. Hejira's sound is defined by Mitchell's resonant acoustic guitar and Jaco Pastorius' molten fretless bass — together, they create an atmosphere suggestive of rolling clouds and open highways. Miles removed from the genteel folk of her early years, Joni's vocals display the shadings of a seasoned jazz chanteuse.

Customer Reviews

Hejira, by Joni Mitchell.

Hejira is, simply put, Joni Mitchell's finest album. Which is saying a lot.

Many of the songs were written by Joni while she was on the road with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review, and reflect the abstraction and solitude one can feel, even while surrounded by others. 'The fine white lines of the freeway' indeed.

The lyrics are sheer poetry, some of Joni's best, and are carried along by the stripped-down production, which features Joni's creative guitar wizardry in tandem with some of Jaco Pastorius's finest fretless bass work on record.

Highlights include 'Amelia' (Which is worth the price of the album in itself), Song For Sharon, The Refuge Of The Roads... There's really not a weak track on Hegira.

When introducing someone to Joni, Hegira is always my choice. I've probably gifted 30 copies of the album to friends over the years. It's Joni at her creative peak, the musicianship is impeccable, the lyrics shimmer with truth and scatter light like a mirror ball.

You simply can't go wrong with Hegira. 5 Stars.

This is a masterpiece, both of Joni and Jaco

Hejira is an excellent collection of songs that you will listen to over and over, the interplay between Joni and Jaco Pastorius on bass is incredible. The songs are deeply emotional, compelling and deep, a far cry from the pop schlock we are subjected to today.

Musical and Lyrical Maturity

This is one of the albums that strikes at my core. Joni talks about how much we want to travel --to be somewhere else-- but travel can make us very lonely indeed. The more we move around, the less connected we are to others. "Hejira," "Amelia," "Song for Sharon," and "Refuge of the Roads" are like classical lieder, almost like little symphonies with cunning, honest poetry. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: November 7, 1943 in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No female artist better typified the singer/songwriter movement of the '70s than Joni Mitchell, though her public image as the serious, sensitive woman with a guitar shortchanged her abilities, ambitions, and accomplishments. Mitchell's gift for writing personal, folk-inspired songs about the thorny side of life and love was inarguable (particularly on albums like 1970's Ladies of the Canyon and 1971's Blue), but Mitchell also brought the same smarts and eloquence to glossy pop on her commercial...
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