Posted by: ronclegg | January 6, 2009

Herbie Hancock – River “The Joni Letters”

I can’t recommend this album highly enough.  This record features the genius songwriting of Joni Mitchell, the intricate collaborations between Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and steller guest performances by Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, and Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza, and Tina Turner. Here is a mesmerizing performance of “River” on video.

Also, give a listen to the instrumental cut “A Case of You” featuring the sophisticated interplay between Hancock and Shorter. This album may skirt the definition of jazz for some folks, but it is a deeply felt and highly conceived venture. Thanks Herbie for dreaming this one up…

Reviewer Marshall Bowden adds: ” Joni Mitchell’s music will continue to be of interest to jazz singers and songwriters (see my piece The New Singer-Songwriters) as well as musicians who value music that responds well to a deep reading. River: The Joni Letters is a valentine from the world of jazz to Joni Mitchell, communicating that her heartfelt experimentation with that world has stood the test of time and come full circle to influence the music that influenced her.”

Click to hear “A Case of You”:


Video of Corrine Baily Rae Singing: “River”

If you want to hear another great track by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter playing “Round Midnight” in The Miles Davis Quintet just scroll down through the older posts on this blog.  It’s a really good listen…



  1. Hey Ron and happy new year! Go to see you posting. Thanks for the heads up on the HH album…I will definitely check it out.

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