I just rented the DVD of Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light tour, which I saw
at the SF Civic Center in 1979. This was the post-"Mingus" tour featuring
Pat Metheny, the late Jaco Pastorius, and Michael Brecker. Once again, I am
reminded of what a brilliant, radical songwriter and performer she was in
her prime (maybe still, but musical fashion being what it is, you don't hear
much from her anymore. And the more recent albums that I've heard haven't
really broken new ground like her masterpieces, Mingus and Hejira). And an
incredible and unique singer, as well.
You don't see all that much of Jaco in the video - he was standing mostly on
the other side of the stage, so when Joni's singing, mainly you see Metheny
lurking behind her. But Jaco has a pretty big solo spot a few songs in, and
he starts off by laying down two or three layers of loop. At some point he
mutes it, and then later brings it back.
I don't know what he was using - you can't see much of it - but it was
really surprising and cool to be watching this great music and suddenly see
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