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'A Tribute to Joni Mitchell' Website Launches
Published April 3, 2007

Read musicians' reflections on Mitchell and their versions of her songs; hear the originals side by side with diverse new interpretations.

Joni Mitchell is widely regarded as one of the most important musical figures of the rock era, having paved the way for artists in all genres -- including the twelve outstanding musicians on 'A Tribute to Joni Mitchell' (Nonesuch, April 24).

On 'A Tribute to Joni Mitchell,' Sufjan Stevens, Björk, Caetano Veloso, Brad Mehldau, Cassandra Wilson, Prince, Sarah, Mclachlan, Annie Lennox, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, and James Taylor take Joni Mitchell's music in wide-ranging directions.

Below some of the artists reflect on the daunting task of covering Joni Mitchell, and also the pull that her music and career have exerted on their own lives.

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"Assembling a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" required more than a few musical somersaults. Who can possibly surmount Joni's rollercoaster vocal lines with all those odd syntaxes and off beat pronunciations?"
-Sufjan Stevens

"In a music-world ruled by males she continues to be the only one (except perhaps Kate Bush) who created an all-female universe with intuition, wisdom, intelligence, craftsmanship, and courage."
- Björk

"When I had the honor to be invited to join those paying homage to her in a record, I immediately thought of "Dreamland"... I knew what I wanted to do but was terrified with the difficulty of the many words that floated over the percussion"
-Caetano Veloso

"The expression of her extraordinary artistic powers gave me the blueprint and inspiration to pursue my own creative calling."
-Annie Lennox

"Because Joni Mitchell is both songwriter and singer, her songs come to us a bit like some quintessential versions of great standards--except that the interpreter is also the composer."
-Brad Mehldau

"I'm honored to sing on this marvelous tribute to one of our greatest, most enduring artists."
-Emmylou Harris

"Edith and the Kingpin" always seemed to me to have a cinematic quality. I tried to write an orchestration that underscored many of the images in the lyric."
-Elvis Costello