Joni Mitchell: Hejira, Live in Japan with Pino Palladino

I never thought I’d hear a version of “Hejira” without Jaco and love it. But then Pino Palladino proved me wrong with this incredible live performance of the title track to Joni’s 1976 album by the same name.

Doesn’t hurt that Wayne Shorter joins in either.

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  1. Is this recent? The first concert I saw was Joni, Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Tim Hardin in 68 at Tanglewood, Massachusetts for $3 on the lawn with my summer camp. I was 13. I haven’t seen her in concert since. I want to so badly.

  2. Such a beautiful song this is. Amazing and touching performance.

  3. Che meraviglia…altri tempi, con altri contenuti

  4. Gotta love that fretless stingray.

  5. I respectfully disagree… this performance only proves just how great a musician Jaco was – “something” is definitely missing!

    • You think so? Of course there will never ever be another Jaco, and it is always risky to take on an iconic song like this. But we’ve always viewed Pino’s playing as top notch, both musically and technically, including this.

    • Absolutely nothing wrong with Pino :-) I am a fan myself…

    • Ronald

      I agree with Michael, Palladino is a great bassplayer but not extra terrestial so to speak. Very, very few are Jaco being one of the exceptions. To state another way, Jaco found levels of musicianship and bassplaying we dindn’t know existed before him. This is ever so present in the way he played this song and what most others don’t have. With all respect indeed to Palladino.

    • Agree with Michael. Pino is a wonderful player and is clearly inspired by Jaco in his playing of this song but there’s definitely something missing.

    • Yes, I agree! You’re right! It’s the mood, the spirit that seems lost…beside Jaco’s playing, it’s Joni’s voice that lacks the well rounded heights she had back in the seventies…Don’t get me wrong: it’s great to hear that song played by such great artits with respect, but it sounds in a different way. And I like the spirit of the original, caught in the great moments documented on “Shadows and light”….listen carefully, it’s from another planet….but, again, Pino’s great here, but i didn’t want to hear Jaco doing all the Paul Young stuff as well….they’re two different players playing in their own styles allthough they both share the love for fretless bass.

    • Jaco may have been more influential and innovative for his time, but Pino is a better musician. Every note is beautiful.

  6. Beautifully spare playing…

  7. Simon Bowkett

    I think Pino lets the song breath more than Jaco. More supportive.

  8. Simon Bowkett

    Also, this is a band of mainly British session guys. Is it a concert where they learned the parts for loads of different artists or was it just for Joni. You’re hardly likely to stretch out if it’s the only time you’re gonna play the tune.

    • Wayne Renardson

      Hello Simon: Would you consider the notion that since you’re not going to play the tune again that would be the best time to stretch?

      Wayne R.

  9. Jim W

    I honestly have never listened to any of her music as I dismissed it as folksy. In my growing up years right. But this song puts me in awe. Wow is all I can say, regardless of who is on the bass.

  10. Apples and Oranges……Love them both : )

  11. James O' Sullivan

    Is it just me or does Wayne Shorter sound way out of tune?!?!?

    • GothDaddy

      wayne often makes me wince a little…

    • glenn

      nope, it’s just you. a couple of notes he attacks a little flat, but he always bends them into tune. maybe his notes are just too hip for you? soprano is a funny instrument, Wayne plays it more in tune than just about anybody.

  12. Steve Carriere

    I greatly prefer Pino’s tone over Jaco. I also think I prefer his playing. I know that someone will be by soon to take my bass player card, but while I acknowledge Jaco’s contributions and all, in this and other instances, I prefer someone else’s performance over Jaco.

  13. Bob DeRosa

    I guess it’s tough NOT to compare similar performances, especially when one of them is iconic, but man, I wish we’d chill out and just appreciate each player for what he brings to the music. If Jaco had never performed this same tune in the same setting and we heard only Pino, there would definitely be nothing “missing.” I would be much more disappointed if Pino felt compelled to play waves of 16th notes just to sound like Jaco.

  14. Pino crushed it! Wow. So great. But I’m not surprised…. Because. You know…. It’s Pino.

  15. Simon Grove

    Such an iconic track from Joni, Jaco’s version is just epic, but Pino breathes new life into this track with his interpretation.
    Fair to say that most of our great fretless players would have done not only Joni but Jaco proud.
    Who cares if it’s not the original, variety is the spice of life ?

  16. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. Have loved this album since it was released..tremendous memories

  17. GothDaddy

    always loved pino’s playing, but honestly, jaco sang along with joni on the original… pino just blends into his part here, like a good session player does… with all due respect, i prefer the album version…

  18. Paul Verberne

    Don’t forget that the original track contains 2 bassparts: one track where Jaco lays down the bottom end en one track where he plays his iconic, beautiful melodies.
    Pino combines these two parts in one, playing the way he’s become so famous for: playing very melodic and free, but always in his function as a bassplayer keeping the low end intact.

  19. Will

    Ive read the comments and I love Pino, but, this recording proves how ordinary Pino can sound, when asked to play a Jaco bass line. Don’t get me wrong, Pino does a great job, but “great” falls short in the shadow of a man who created magic when he played. Just my opinion.

  20. It’s the thinking, it’s the bloody thinking. It’s easy to play like that now. Correction – it’s bloody difficult to play like that, even now, and Pino does a marvellous job. But Jaco thought of that first, 30 years ago, in a world in which bass practically didn’t exist (back then, an extension of the bass drum?). He famously said to an interviewer “I invented the bass, and we both know it.” How bloody right.