Is there a need for another Joni Mitchell songbook album? Is there a need for anything? But without being facetious Joni Mitchell is certainly much covered it's true. And yes to be less circumspect of course there is, given the endless pool of inspiration Mitchell continues to provide.
And the results can be very rewarding. Herbie Hancock for instance achieved almost unprecedented success on River: The Joni Letters by winning overall album of the year at the Grammys in 2008 the first time that had been done by a jazz artist since Getz/Gilberto in 1965. That came with Joni's partial participation and direct friendship with Herbie and an often oblique way of unpicking the material pursued winningly by Hancock and producer Larry Klein.
I enjoyed that album a lot and every so often turn to new interpretations of the Mitchell canon, or should that be canyon? The one I usually turn to came a few years earlier, like this without the great Canadian's input and if brutally honest still better than this new treatment, is Ian Shaw's Drawn to All Things from 2006. Ian teased a lot more out of the lyrics than Colman manages, things that you did not know were even there half the time but made sense in the easing out.
However, while not completely won over by Ink on a Pin although appreciating the knock-out Oli Jacobs sound even if it's a bit too full-on, this is still a decent effort. And I do like Colman's bluesy voice, which lands not a million miles away from Liane Carroll's. Head to Colman's earlier album What We're Made Of if you are new to Colman first. I think it's more satisfying unless of course you just want to immerse yourself once again in all things Joni. Seven tracks in all they are 'Court and Spark,' 'Chelsea Morning,' 'Amelia,' 'This Flight Tonight,' 'Down To You,' 'Woodstock' and 'My Old Man'. Joining the singer are among others Percy Pursglove on flugelhorn, Steve Banks on guitar, Rebecca Nash, piano, Ben Markland, bass and Jonathan Silk, drums. Colman touring dates coming up are here.
Released on 26 November
Tags: Albums and EPs