Blue: Joni Mitchell

I’ve admired Joni Mitchell for about 40 years. Her voice, musicianship and storytelling continue to inspire me. Happy to hear that she’s steadily recovering from a 2015 aneurysm.

Though I can appreciate him as an artist, I’ve never been a fan of Dylan. Maybe it’s the voice or Bob’s inability to vocally harmonize with his unique melodies. I realize I’m missing out, but so be it.

I don’t have to choose, but I tend to focus on bands and musicians that I feel best to represent the genre they belong to The Beatles vs the Stones, Led Zeppelin vs Deep Purple, Joni Mitchell vs Bob Dylan.

Joni’s now 50-year-old album Blue isn’t my favorite, but I totally recognize its greatness and there are some incredible tunes on it. My list of her best albums: Court and SparkMingusNight Ride HomeChalkmark in a Rainstorm, and Turbulent Indigo.

An interesting anecdote about Joni that I heard from someone a long time ago was how rock musicians she played with would get frustrated by her complicated jazz tuning/chords/melodies and jazz musicians would find her pop and rock n roll songs boring to play.

In addition to being a musical virtuoso and lyricist, Joni Mitchell is also an amazing painter. Back in my painting days, in the mid to late 1980s, when I’d converted the tiny kitchen in my small apartment in Göteborg to a miniature art studio, Joni’s music would often keep me company, keep me going.

Here are some of her visual works.