More music from Jimi Hendrix
March 13, 2013
In addition to inspiring the purchase of countless Fender Stratocasters and Marshall amplifiers, Jimi Hendrix cemented his legacy and forever changed rock guitar on his three studio albums released in 1967-68.
So why is his estate trying to convince us of his genius?
Experience Hendrix is promoting “People, Hell and Angels” as “12 previously unreleased songs completed by Hendrix” in 1968-69. They say it offers “tantalizing new clues” as to Hendrix’s artistic direction as he worked toward that elusive fourth album. Those things might be true, although we certainly could debate the meaning of “completed,” and Hendrix’s versatility was no secret.
The long-lost follow-up to “Electric Ladyland” it is not. It is, however, a very nice collection of songs and studio jams.
The album is, as you would expect, full of great guitar playing. It sounds exquisite, too, thanks to longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer.
Some of these tracks, such as “Earth Blues,” “Somewhere,” “Easy Blues” and “Izabella” are already familiar to Hendrix fans, although the versions collected on “People, Hell & Angels” are different takes on those tunes.
It’s exciting to hear Hendrix paired with horns, as he is on “Let Me Love You” and “Mojo Man.” It’s also a treat to hear his first recordings with Billy Cox (bass) and Buddy Miles (drums), with whom he went on to record the “Band of Gypsys” live album. His blues playing is showcased on “Hear My Train A Comin’ ” and Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.” It’s a great historical document. But was it a collection he intended? Only one person knows, and he’s been tragically silent since 1970.
Trying to market Hendrix as a still-vital artist is completely unnecessary. One need look no further than the diverse style and amazing chops of Gary Clark Jr. to see that the Voodoo Child’s spirit is alive and well.
Experience Hendrix seems intent on trying to pad a résumé that, for more than 40 years, hasn’t needed any enhancement.