She was 4 days shy of her 90th birthday. In a interview , Joni stated that " Their record flipped me out, but it was already out of print. I had to finally buy it off somebody and pay a lot, maybe fifteen dollars, which was unheard of at that time. But you couldn't get the record anywhere. Lambert, Hendricks and Ross were my Beatles. In high school, theirs was the record I wore thin, the one I knew all the words to. In , Ross met Prestige Records owner Bob Weinstock, who asked her to write lyrics to a jazz solo in a similar way to King Pleasure, a practice that would later be known as vocalese. The next day, she presented him with the song "Twisted", a treatment of saxophonist Wardell Gray's composition of the same name- a song Joni later recorded on the Court and Spark album.
In , Cary Raditz, a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina, quit his job in advertising and headed to Europe to bum around with his girlfriend. They ended up in Matala, on the island of Crete, where they found a bunch of hippies living in a network of caves. Raditz soon decamped for Afghanistan in a VW bus; when he returned, his girlfriend had bailed, but there was word that a new girl was headed to Matala. Raditz and Mitchell shared a cave for a couple of months, travelled around Greece together, and parted ways. All she needed was her lyrics, preternaturally analytic, wry, and shrewd; her chords, largely self-invented, a kind of calligraphy of the moods; and her voice, which modulates from patter to rue to rhapsody in a single phrase. The best pop music is often preening and shamanic. Mitchell writes about emotional information: who controls it, and how it is squandered or hoarded, withheld or weaponized. This requires some reconnaissance, which for Mitchell involves falling in and out of love, over and over—not so much a research method as a form of self-surgery.
She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever",  and AllMusic has stated, "When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century". Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan , and throughout western Canada, before busking in the streets and nightclubs of Toronto , Ontario. In , she moved to the United States and began touring. Her album Blue is often cited as one of the best albums of all time; it was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone ' s list of the " Greatest Albums of All Time ". She then switched labels and began exploring more jazz -influenced melodic ideas, by way of lush pop textures, on 's Court and Spark , which featured the radio hits " Help Me " and " Free Man in Paris "  and became her best-selling album. Around , Mitchell's vocal range began to shift from mezzo-soprano to more of a wide-ranging contralto. In the late s, she began working closely with noted jazz musicians, among them Jaco Pastorius , Wayne Shorter , Herbie Hancock , and Pat Metheny as well as Charles Mingus , who asked her to collaborate on his final recordings. Mitchell is the sole producer credited on most of her albums, including all her work in the s.
Other highly successful albums followed. Mitchell won her first Grammy Award best folk performance for her album, Clouds. At the beginning of her career, Mitchell's compositions were highly original and personal in their lyrical imagery. It was this style that first attracted attention among folk-music audiences in Toronto while she was still in her teens.