This is a tribute album in the purest sense: here singer and pianist Mann pays homage to her idol Joni Mitchell in 12 cover songs, imitating the Canadian songwriter’s distinctive vocal tics with impressive accuracy.
Mann and her band do reimagine these songs, though, through a jazz lens, if a somewhat self-conscious one. Hear the swinging sax soloing good-naturedly between verses on “Black Crow”, for example, and the honky-tonk piano jiving away harmlessly on “Big Yellow Taxi”.
Still, Mann’s vocal is piercingly honest and clear, and the songs are sung with joy.
Mann (v, p); Dino Govoni (ts, f); Jay Azzolina (g); Dave Zinno (b); Marty Richards (d). Portsmouth, RI, 2018.
Whaling City Sound 109