Friday, July 9, 2010

Joni Covers: God Must Be a Boogie Man

Maria Pia De Vito: God Must Be a Boogie Man


Probably, the Joni Mitchell album that is hardest to find covers from is Mingus. Two of the songs, Dry Cleaner From Des Moines and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat were originally done as instrumentals by Charles Mingus, so any versions of these must have her lyrics in order to qualify as Joni Mitchell covers. And these are the two most accessible songs on the album. The remaining songs are new, and they are “difficult”. They border on avant-garde jazz, with the rhythm often implied rather than stated, and these songs are a challenge to any who would attempt to cover them.

Maria Pia De Vito is a new name to me, but a little research reveals that she is one of the leading jazz singers in Europe. Here, you can hear why. De Vito solves the problem of covering God Must Be a Boogie Man by giving it more of a bop era arrangement. Then she proceeds to sing the heck out of it. This one will be a particular treat for fans of scat singing; there is a wonderful scat solo in the middle section of the song. This comes from the album So Right, which also contains six other Joni Mitchell covers to go with seven De Vito originals.

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