The evolution of “Twisted”

“My analyst told me…that I was right out of my head…”

One of Joni Mitchell’s most popular songs, which helped establish her jazz credentials, “Twisted” from the “Court and Spark” album, came from music written and improvised by tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray. Later Annie Ross put lyrics to it.

Annie Ross built her lyrics on the Wardell Gray composition and solo


Wardell Gray’s original 1949 recording of “Twisted”

Wardell Gray (tenor), Al Haig (piano), Tommy Potter (bass), Roay Haynes (drums)


The Joni Mitchell version that everyone knows

Fun fact: Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong provided the verbal commentary around (2:00)

Click here to learn more about Wardell Gray

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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Tito Puente and Charlie Palmieri en El Bronx
Forgotten Tenor: A Tribute to Saxophonist Wardell Gray