Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell and Angels

Due to Jimi almost compulsively recording everything he and his friends would do at Electric Ladyland
Studios, there has been an abundance of unreleased material that is still being released to this day, as evidenced by this album. Although fans may recognize many of these tunes, these are all different versions with (mostly) different line-ups from previous issues.

Amazon has a good run-down of the songs and the personnel, but numbers here include a studio take of "Earth Blues" with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles and a terrific blues, "Somewhere", with amazing playing by Jimi, backed by Miles and Stephen Stills on bass! Always loved "Hear My Train A-Comin'" and this one is super-solid and is followed  by Elmore James' "Bleeding Heart" - both with fantastic blues licks from Jimi. One stand-out here, due to its unusual nature and the fact that no version has ever been issued, is "Let Me Move You", a rockin' r'n'b duet with sax-man Lonnie Youngblood, with Lonnie singing and both men blowing their hearts out! Great, great stuff!

"Izabella" was always a highlight of Woodstock II and this studio version (recorded after the festival) is a little more controlled than the live take and includes rhythm guitarist Larry Lee, who also joins him on the laid-back and cool "Easy Blues". The original "Crash Landing" is unearthed as well as "Inside Out", an early working of "EZY Rider", with Hendrix playing through a Leslie speaker. "Hey Gypsy Boy" is the basis for "Hey Baby (New Rising Son)" with some especially sweet and melodic playing and then he adds his talents to his friends, the Ghetto Fighters, for their soulful "Mojo Man". It all ends with the cool instro he did at Woodstock, here titled "Villanova Junction Blues", showing that it wasn't simply a jam, but a song that he had worked on long before the festival.

As with most of his posthumous work, this is really for fans, but it is a strong album, none-the-less, and something that you will want if ya dig the man's work. Lots of mind-boggling playing and real songs.

(PS - I got this from the library so don't know if a booklet is supposed to come with it.)