Lyrics and artwork by Joni, music by Mingus! Jaco renders his stunning signature harmonic and rhythmic magic throughout Charles' quasi-autobiographical song-cycle.
Denounced by the jazz police - who were still debating the "legitimacy" of the electric bass, yet beloved by young erudite audiences (myself included) upon its 1979 release, Joni, abetted by the collective genius of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, and Don Alias, introduced Charles Mingus to a new generation.
To my ears, Jaco’s bopping motifs which underpin “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” are among his greatest performances ever.
Coda: Joni’s initial New York Mingus sessions with Stanley Clarke, Jan Hammer, John McLaughlin, Gerry Mulligan, and Tony Williams – have remained under locks or have been reportedly destroyed. The mystery continues...