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CD Review
Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell And Angels

Jimi Hendrix

People, Hell And Angels
Record Label: Experience Hendrix / Legacy
Artist's Facebook
Review by Sal Serio
April 2013

When an artist as innovative and revered as guitarist Jimi Hendrix passes away at a young age, the obvious question always is: “What if?”, meaning, what would the musician have done next, had he lived? The beauty of recent releases by the family owned Experience Hendrix group is that we get a glimpse into Jimi’s vision, in the form of unreleased studio recordings. Longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer makes these archival gems shine as if they had just been committed to tape recently, rather than 40+ years ago.

As compared to material recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience trio, most of this new set shows Jimi getting back to his black roots, with more swing to the beat (primarily provided by late drummers Buddy Miles or Mitch Mitchell) and an overall increased sense of soul/R&B to the rhythms (ex: “Bleeding Heart” & “Izabella”). Two songs feature horns and soul singers, dramatically increasing this effect - “Let Me Move You” is a loose studio jam featuring saxophonist/vocalist Lonnie Youngblood, and “Mojo Man” was recorded at Muscle Shoals by the Ghetto Fighters, lead by singer Albert Allen. Both songs employ keyboards, another element not typically found on Hendrix records.

Other highlights include studio songs recorded by the Gypsy Sun & Rainbows band that Jimi debuted at Woodstock, literally ten days after that iconic performance. Army buddies Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and Billy Cox on bass allow Jimi a heightened comfort level and foundation over which to employ his six-string experimentation. The deluxe-edition CD also includes a 20 minute studio jam titled “Ezy Ryder/MLK Jam (Captain Coconut)” where Hendrix & Cox go off on unhinged improv anchored by Buddy Miles’ creative use of cowbell as a part of his drum kit.

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