River: The Joni Letters

River: The Joni Letters

River: The Joni Letters
Herbie Hancock
Released September 25, 2007 (2007-09-25)
Recorded 2006—2007
Genre Jazz
Length 67:49
Label The Verve Music Group
Producer Herbie Hancock, Larry Klein
Herbie Hancock chronology

River: The Joni Letters
The Imagine Project
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[1]
All About Jazz (favorable)[2]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[4]
Daily News (favorable)[5]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[6]
New York (favorable)[7]
The New York Times (favorable)[8]
The New Yorker (favorable)[9]
Time Out 4/6 stars[10]

River: The Joni Letters is the 2007 album by Herbie Hancock. His 47th studio album, it was released on September 25, 2007 by Verve Records. The tribute album is a homage to Joni Mitchell, a longtime associate and friend of Hancock. Both Hancock and saxophonist Wayne Shorter previously collaborated with Mitchell on her 1979 album Mingus, and both continued to work with her on occasion ever since.[11]

Guest vocalists on River include Lara Fabian, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza and Mitchell herself.[11]

The album peaked at #5 on The Billboard 200 after enjoying a huge post-Grammy sales boost, at #61 in Switzerland, #70 in France and #83 in the Netherlands.

Grammy Awards

On February 10, 2008, the album won the Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 50th annual Grammy Awards, surprising the music world.[12] It faced competition from Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Amy Winehouse, and Vince Gill.[13] River was the first jazz album to win best album in 43 years and only the second in the award's history; the other was Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz and João Gilberto in 1965.[14][15] The track "Both Sides Now" was also nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental.[16]

Track listing

All songs were written by Joni Mitchell, except where noted.

  1. "Court and Spark" (featuring Norah Jones) - 7:35
  2. "Edith and the Kingpin" (featuring Tina Turner) - 6:32
  3. "Both Sides, Now" - 7:38
  4. "River" (featuring Corinne Bailey Rae) - 5:25
  5. "Sweet Bird" - 8:15
  6. "The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms)" (featuring Joni Mitchell) - 6:34
  7. "(In My) Solitude" (Eddie DeLange, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) - 5:42
  8. "Amelia" (featuring Luciana Souza) - 7:26
  9. "Nefertiti" (Wayne Shorter) - 7:30
  10. "The Jungle Line" (featuring Leonard Cohen) - 5:00
Bonus tracks

The Amazon.com exclusive version of the album features two bonus tracks:[17]

  1. "A Case of You" – 7:36
  2. "All I Want" – 4:15

The iTunes Store digital version features two bonus tracks:

  1. "Harlem in Havana"
  2. "I Had a King"



External links

  • Los Angeles Times
  • PopMatters
  • USA Today