Friday, 3 July 2015

Woke up, it was a Chelsea Morning



Today, I'm presenting a paper on my childhood memories of the early songs of Joni Mitchell at Court and Spark - a one-day symposium about Mitchell's music and influence. The one above - a version of Joni's Chelsea Morning by the fabulous Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 - conjures up all kinds of kinaesthetic/synaesthetic recollections of my life on the estate, circa 1969-70. People view Joni Mitchell's work either as raw, folk-rock confessional, or as lifestyle background music. I guess Chelsea Morning falls into the latter camp. But it still seems as fresh, progressive and joyous to me today as it did back when I first heard Sergio's version as a child. Maybe this is because, back then, both the song, and Sergio's take on it were truly new, in a way that is more or less beyond us now. But maybe also it's the sheer sonic joy of hearing Lani Hall and (*sigh*) Karen Phillip singing in perfect unity beside the lovely grinning soul of Sergio Mendes, transforming the already perfect source material of Joni's song into a sound capable (as one typically random, sweeping and excitable youtube comment put it about Mendes and Brasil 66) of 'destroying evil with hugs and kisses'.  

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