Although Hendrix died pretty young, at age 27, on September 18, 1970) and he only released three studio albums (the 1967’s “Are You Experienced”, the 1967’s “Axis: Bold as Love” and his seminal 1968’s “Electric Ladyland”), he managed the unequalable performance to release 12 posthumous albums. Not bad for a dead guy and those who are still earning big bucks by exploited his inheritance.
But while the so-called tasteless whatever called music these days it’s not even boring anymore, but directly annoying, listening Hendrix again made me feel better and enjoying turning the levels up on my loudspeaker. And honestly, it’s been a while since I actually enjoyed something released nowadays…
The tracks featured on “People, Hell & Angels” are previously unreleased recordings of songs that Jimi Hendrix and fellow band members – mainly the Band of Gypsys lineup featuring Billy Cox and Buddy Miles – were working on as the follow-up to “Electric Ladyland”, tentatively titled “First Rays of the New Rising Sun”. The majority of the recordings are drawn from sessions in 1968 and ’69 at the Record Plant Studios in New York, with a few inclusions from Hendrix’s brief residencies at Sound Centre, the Hit Factory, and his own Electric Lady Studios.
According to Eddie Kramer, the engineer who recorded most of Hendrix’s music during his lifetime, this will be the last Hendrix album to feature unreleased studio material. Kramer said that several as-yet-unreleased live recordings would be available in the coming years. I’m pretty sure, the greed will bring to the surface a few more “lost” recordings and we will have at least a couple of new recordings in the following years, but if those recordings will be just as good as this one, I do not mind!
Still, it’s frightening that Hendrix’s 44 years old recordings are more fresh and inspiring, more creative and further edge cutting then 99.9% of the music delivered by most of the highly appreciated and media praised “artists” today.
With an album title coined by Jimi Hendrix, “People, Hell & Angels”, reveals some of Hendrix’s post-Experience ambitions and directions as he worked with new musicians, including the Buffalo Springfield’s bass player Stephen Stills, drummer Buddy Miles, bass player Billy Cox (with whom Hendrix had served in the 101st US Army Airborne and later played on the famed R & B ‘chitlin circuit’ together), percussionist Juma Sultan, but also old fellows including saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood and drummer Mitch Mitchell.
“People, Hell & Angels”, is co-produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott. Kramer first met Hendrix at Olympic Studios in London in January 1967. Hendrix, who would have turned 70 on November 27 this year, developed a unique rapport with Kramer. As a result, Kramer engineered every album issued by the guitarist in his lifetime and recorded such famous Hendrix concerts as the Woodstock festival in August 1969. Since 1997, Kramer has teamed with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott to oversee the release of each Jimi Hendrix album issued by Experience Hendrix.
01 – Earth Blues
02 – Somewhere
03 – Hear My Train A Comin’
04 – Bleeding Heart
05 – Let Me Move You
06 – Izabella
07 – Easy Blues
08 – Crash Landing
09 – Inside Out
10 – Hey Gypsy Boy
11 – Mojo Man
12 – Villanova Junction Blues
This is a very colour and soulful journey into the unfortunately unfinished chapter of Hendrix taking to the next level and dimension of his music and sound. It’s incredibly powerful and fresh, still sounding simultaneously new, unique and experimental, yet solid and incredibly nicely rooted back to blues, funk, soul and rock.
“Somewhere” it’s an extraordinary example how smoothly they managed to improvise and explore unexpected dimensions while the music it’s simply and totally magic. And the whole album it’s stunning by its natural power. There is something what’s totally missing from the nowadays recordings: the soul. And the ancient energy and the spirit of the unconditional, free expression. If you do not listening this, you will probably do not realize how empty and directionless the music nowadays are.
This is a close mystic experience. Hendrix’s guitar solos are shamanic and hypnotizing.
Someone said that no one should get on the stage and playing after Hendrix, well, I’m in serious trouble now, because I really don’t think I’ll be able to listing to Bullet For My Valentine and any of their fellow-alikes in the couple of next weeks… And honestly? If I’ll skip a couple of new albums, I will not miss a goddamn thing.