4.4 9
by Joni Mitchell

Travelogue is a testament to artistic maturity. Recasting a wide swath of her signature songs in orchestral settings, Joni Mitchell unearths a new depth of emotion in each, fully justifying their revamped identities. If the wide range and dashing high notes of her youth are no longer part of Mitchell’s vocal arsenal, her superb phrasing and expressive focus…  See more details below


Travelogue is a testament to artistic maturity. Recasting a wide swath of her signature songs in orchestral settings, Joni Mitchell unearths a new depth of emotion in each, fully justifying their revamped identities. If the wide range and dashing high notes of her youth are no longer part of Mitchell’s vocal arsenal, her superb phrasing and expressive focus more than make up for it. This still-masterful singer-songwriter effortlessly extracts the dramatic riches from song after song, her readings deepened by the passage of time and experience. Although Mitchell’s striking guitar and piano work are not in the equation here, she is hardly without instrumental support. Vince Mendoza’s radiant arrangements for the London Symphony Orchestra, the vivid, just-right work of saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Herbie Hancock, and the general musical direction of producer Larry Klein add immeasurably to the success of the project. Although Mitchell has claimed that this will be her final album, the beauties to be found here, and the obvious vitality and creativity she exhibits throughout, make you hope she reconsiders.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
According to Joni Mitchell, Travelogue is her final recorded work, and if that is so, it's a detailed exploration of moments in a career that is as dazzling as it is literally uncompromising. Over 22 tracks and two CDs (and as stunning package featuring a plethora of photographs of Mitchell's paintings), Travelogue is a textured and poetic reminiscence, not a reappraisal, of her work -- most of it from the 1970s through the 1990s. A 70-piece orchestra, as well as jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Kenny Wheeler, drummer Brian Blade, bassist Chuck Berghofer, producer Larry Klein, and organist Billy Preston, among others, accompanies her. It's true that Mitchell dabbled in this territory in 2000 on Both Sides Now, but that recording only remotely resembles this one. Cast in this way it is true that this is no easy cruise, but given the nearly 40 years of her sojourn in popular music, Mitchell's work, particularly from the mid-'70s on, has been difficult for many to grasp on first listen and always gives up its considerable rewards, slowly making her records age well over time; they are not disposable as much of the music from her peers is. These completely recast songs cover the entirety of her career, from her debut, Song From a Seagull, to Turbulent Indigo (with certain albums not being represented at all). It's true there aren't high-profile cuts here except for "Woodstock," which is radically reshaped, but it hardly matters. When you hear the ultrahip, be-bopping "God Must Be a Boogie Man," there is an elation without sentimentality; in the scathing and venomous "For the Roses" and "Just Like This Train," the bitterness and aggression in their delivery offers the listener an empathy with Mitchell's anger at the recording industry -- and anyone else who's crossed her. But while there is plenty of swirling darkness amid the strings here, there is also the fulfillment of prophecy; just give a listen to this version of "Sex Kills" that bears its weight in full measure of responsibility and vision. Her voice, aged by years of smoking, is huskier and is, if anything, more lovely, mature, deep in its own element of strength. The restatement of W.B. Yeats, "Slouching Toward Bethlehem," is more stunning now than ever before as is "Hejira." In "The Circle Game" and "Slouching Toward Bethlehem," you hear the ambition in Mitchell's musical direct as she has moved ever closer to the tone poem as a song form. Though it may not be as easy on first listen as Court and Spark, Travelogue will continue to unfold over time and offer, like her best work, decades of mystery and pleasure.
Entertainment Weekly
The miracle is that [the] symphonic arrangements sometimes place [her] alto in even more intimate climes.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Bros / Wea


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joni Mitchell   Primary Artist
Leon Bosch   Bass
Chris Laurence   Bass
Mary Scully   Bass
Simon Benson   Bass
David Ayre   Bass
Paddy Lannigan   Bass
Nick Bucknall   Clarinet
Andy Findon   Flute
Helen Keen   Flute
Anna Noakes   Flute
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Steve Henderson   Percussion
Frank Ricotti   Percussion
Christopher Baron   Percussion
Herbie Hancock   Piano
John Lenehan   Piano
Pete Beachill   Trombone
Richard Edwards   Trombone
Peter Davies   Trombone
Mike Hext   Trombone
Roger Harvey   Trombone
Derek Watkins   Trumpet
Kenny Wheeler   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Paul Archibald   Trumpet
John Barclay   Trumpet
Stuart Brooks   Trumpet
Simon Gardner   Trumpet
Andrew Crowley   Trumpet
Mark Berrow   Violin
Ben Cruft   Violin
Liz Edwards   Violin
David Emanuel   Violin
Rita Manning   Violin
Jim McLeod   Violin
Johnathan Rees   Violin
Jonathan Strange   Violin
Cathy Thompson   Violin
Chris Tombling   Violin
Dave Woodcock   Violin
Dermot Crehan   Violin
Katherine Shave   Violin
Paul Willey   Violin
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki   Violin
Jackie Shave   Violin
Peter Hansen   Violin
Julian Leaper   Violin
Michael McMenemy   Violin
Everton Nelson   Violin
Rebecca Hirsch   Violin
Warren Zielinski   Violin
Jonathan Evans Jones   Violin
Antonia Fuchs   Violin
Simon Fischer   Violin
Helen Hathorn   Violin
Larry Klein   Electric Bass,Musical Direction
Julie Andrews   Bassoon
Gavin McNaughton   Bassoon
Robin O' Neill   Bassoon
Vince Mendoza   Conductor
Brian Blade   Drums
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Hugh Webb   Harp
Helen Tunstall   Harp
Simon Rayner   Horn
Philip Eastop   Horn
Richard Bissell   Horn
John Pigneguy   Horn
Richard Watkins   Horn
Mike Thompson   Horn
David Pyatt   Horn
Jacob Heringman   Lute
Chris Cowie   Oboe
John Anderson Concert Orchestra   Oboe
Billy Preston   Hammond Organ
Wayne Shorter   Soprano Saxophone
Philip Todd   Soprano Saxophone
Plas Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
Garfield Jackson   Viola
Justin Ward   Viola
Peter Lale   Viola
Bruce White   Viola
Philip Dukes   Viola
Robert Smissen   Viola
Tim Grant   Viola
Rachel Bolt   Viola
Catherine Bradshaw   Viola
Andrew Busher   Choir, Chorus
Robert Evans   Choir, Chorus
Simon Grant   Choir, Chorus
Donald Greig   Choir, Chorus
Michael Pearn   Choir, Chorus
Lindsay Benson   Choir, Chorus
Graham Godfrey   Choir, Chorus
Michael Dore   Choir, Chorus
John Bowley   Choir, Chorus
Matthew Brooke   Choir, Chorus
Robert Kearley   Choir, Chorus
Jeremy Rose   Choir, Chorus
Jeremy Birchall   Choir, Chorus
Richard Skinner   Contrabassoon
Chuck Berghofer   Acoustic Bass
Tony Lewis   Celli
Robin Firman   Celli
Paul Kegg   Celli
Helen Liebmann   Celli
Martin Loveday   Celli
Anthony Pleeth   Celli
Steven Orton   Celli
Jonathan Tunnell   Celli
David Bucknall   Celli
Jennie O'Grady   Choir Conductor
David Fuest   Clarinet
Susan Bohling   Cornet,Oboe
Dave Stewart   Bass Trombone
Gerry O'Beirne   Choir, Chorus
David Porter Thomas   Choir, Chorus
John Kingsley Smith   Choir, Chorus
David Daniels [cello]   Cello

Technical Credits

Vince Mendoza   Arranger
Joni Mitchell   Producer,Art Direction,Paintings
Larry Klein   Producer
Geoff Foster   Engineer
Helix Hadar   Engineer
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Travelogue 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't heard "Travelogue" yet, but Joni is perfect. It will be a perfect album. So buy it now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Save your money for the Carly Simon release, "Anthology." It will be outstanding! Also, seek out releases by SARA HICKMAN. Another truly gifted singer-songwriter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joni Mitchell's final album is truly outstanding. I've heard some songs, like the very impressive "The Dawntreader", and the striking "You Dream Flat Tires", and they're truly whopping. I've been a Joni Mitchell-fan for a long time now, and I think this is her best album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this album. It puts her in a category with classical song composers like Schubert and Poulenc. She is also demonstrating to vocalists and performers what can be done with her compositions. On past albums her music was idiosyncratic, performed the way only she could perform them, but she shows us with this album that her music doesn't need to be off limits to other performers. I'm hoping this album inspires other artists (from pop,jazz,rock and classical genres) to begin including her compositions in their repertoires
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the greatness that is possessed on this album with Joni, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, imagine if Jaco Pastorius had lived to perform with them. It would then be nothing short of heavenly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joni Mitchell has changed modern music in ways unlike other female performers. She writes, sings, performs, and finds just the right people to perform the music she wants to present in just the way she wants it done. Her experience is reflected in this recording, and the people involved are, of course, perfect for shining a spotlight on her achievements both past and present. She expresses herself here not just in her singing and playing, but uses the entire orchestra as her voice. For those who grew up with her music, her voice is also our voice, our past is tied up in the music that Joni Mitchell has created.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in high school in the 60's in Detroit, and every word Joni sang resounded in my life. I followed her career and music, and the feelings for her music and writing are still heartfelt by me. Watch the DVD biography called Woman of Heart and Mind and then you'll then really understand how talented Joni REALLY is. And you'll understand the musical redemption of her life in this very fine,and very beautiful album ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a hard-core Joni Mitchell fan I find this album is like meeting Joni in an institution where she has been heavily sedated with Prozac. The music lacks the guts and bite of the originals. For those who are content with "elevator" renditions of their favourite songs, this album is for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been a fan of Joni's music for what seems most of my life, I can only say that this music touches me and also leaves me saddened at the same time. As we all grow older and change we still cling to many things, music has always been the most important and I thank Joni for this beautiful swan song, a recap, the words have always done the talking but with Joni's beautiful, heartfelt, "mature" voice she has added so much more demention to her voice, the quality, the timing all so different than what was originally sung, I love all of Joni's many sides, shame on those who critique Joni's later works, she is in a whole different place in her life. More than ever I feel the bond to her burnished vocals as I get older, what she says is so real I had hoped for more appreciation in her works from all those who just dug her way back then. This intimate collection has so many jewels that will continue to shine brightly as the years go by. I hope Joni has a change of heart and makes music for herself and the millions of fans that still think she can do what ever the hell she chooses. A rare, career, stellar musician/writer/human being and most important, as vital as ever. Wonderful collection of music, congrats to Vince for the Grammy for "Woodstock's" orchestration.