After a ruptured aneurysm in 2015, followed by a long coma, the folk jazz icon was thought to be lost to music forever. Last weekend, at the age of 78, she made a glorious return to the stage of the folk festival in Newport, in the United States. More shocking than ever.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have the energy of Mick Jagger, who celebrates his 79th birthday today. The lip singer continues to delight more than one with his swinging hips and his goat jumps during the current Rolling Stones tour. The magic of rock, no doubt, which apparently, when it doesn’t kill, makes some people stronger. But one miracle can hide another, even more precious. The one about the completely unexpected return of Joni Mitchell (78), who hasn’t been on the scene since 2005. And for good reason. If her withdrawal was originally due to a definitive rejection of the world of showbiz that she always hated, the pop-folk-jazz icon, victim of a ruptured aneurysm in 2015 that put her in a coma for a long time with a more than uncertain outcome, slowly recovered, thanks to her iron will. Like when she, a teenager and convicted of polio, which gave her no chance to one day walk again or even survive, she persisted alone, even if it meant martyrdom, to stand up and try to move forward. With success, becoming from the end of the 60s probably the most respected female artist for her singing, unique guitar playing, talent as a composer and of course as a lyricist, easily rivaling Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
Last weekend, this consummate artist, whose first passion is painting, showed during a surprise set organized by her fan, singer Brandi Carlile, at the Newport Folk Festival, that she has lost none of his musical gift, nor his legendary and saving spirit. (as good as bad). The agility of a Jagger less certainly, Mitchell, of whom there are countless weight artists inspired by her, was revealed in the voice – more serious than before, inevitably, but perhaps even more mobile – even sitting most of the time, it’s time to play with incredible class, a dozen of her standards, Both sides now at big yellow cab, as well as the shocking version Summer time to the accents of Nina Simone.
She hadn’t performed at the Newport Festival since 1969, having never been comfortable with the event’s restrictive folk label—fittingly, her music, which leans as much on rock as jazz, was unclassified. Yet right there, in this gathering that once cursed the young Bob Dylan during his transition to electric power, today it is being reborn. Even offering the pleasure of catching, hilariously, his guitar during electric improvisation! Joni Mitchell has always maintained that in this predecessor she suffered more from the abuse of the planet by men than from her multiple emotional failures. On the Newport stage, she proved that she is, beyond doubt, a force of nature, authentic and indestructible.