The Jimi Hendrix BLACK Experience
- Album Review: “West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (4 CD/ 1 DVD Collectors Box)” – Of course the first thing that caught my eye is the track listing for disc #1. All classic 1960’s R&B songs from the Isleys, Little Richard, Don Covay, King Curtis and more. These are all recordings that Jimi Hendrix played on as a sideman, including recordings that he made with our friend Rosa Lee Brooks, prior to the time he went to the UK and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
After you get past disc #1 you will notice that ALL of the rest of the songs on the other 3 discs are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED. In other words, I don’t care how big of a Hendrix fan you might be, YOU AIN’T NEVA HEARD ANY OF THIS BEFORE.
And that’s why it’s essential to own….
- Jimi Hendrix Career Retrospective – Soul-Patroller Gary Tyson gives us a retrospective of the career of Jimi Hendrix from Classic Soul performances with Little Richard and the Isley Bros thru the the commercialism of the Jimi Hendrix Experience years, to the Funk of the Band of Gypsy’s, Black Gold/Cry of Love Sessions. It’s a look at the career of one of the greatest innovators in the history of Black Music Click here to listen
Jimi Hendrix – “An African Prince”
Whats this ?? Surly this must be a “retouched” photo……..Jimi Hendrix looking like an African prince, at a Harlem street fair and surrounded by Black children ? Nah, no way…….right ?? This doesnt look anything like the “drug sniffing rock star Uncle Tom who ODed in the apartment of some Swedish model”. What the hell does Jimi Hendrix have to do with the FUNK ?
Damn right my main man is Jimi Hendrix !!!
After his death a funny thing happened……people started dressing like him, talking like him, it even became cool to have white friends and not be called an Uncle Tom. Jimi Hendrix had an enormous, although unspoken influence on an entire generation of people. For example my recollection is that he was the first figure of national prominence to wear an Afro in 1967 (yeah even before Linc came along). Speaking of good old “Linc”……isnt it obvious that Hendrix is the model for that character ? (get me a big tough lookin Black dude, with a big Afro, who can also get along with white people and not scare em). Beyond all of this Hendrix was a man who embodied both power and peace at the same time. His scorching guitar riffs combined with sensitive and relevant lyrics almost define the FUNK for me.
Jimi Hendrix began his career in the 1960’s playing as a “sideman” to some of the greatest performers in soul music. In the picture you can see him jamming with none other than Wilson Picket. He also played in the bands of Little Richard, King Curtis, Isley Brothers, O’Jays, Ronnetes, Ike and Tina Turner and others. Jimi cut his teeth, playing on the rough and tumble “chitlin circuit” touring the south and dealing with the racism of the circuit. Jimi was a master guitar player both in the studio and on tour. His his most lasting output from this period can be heard on the Isley Brothers hit song from 1964 “Testify” Pt’s 1 & 2.
The echoes of Jimi Hendrix music can be heard in artists as diverse as WAR, Funkadelic, Mandrill, “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”, Living Colour, Sly and the Family Stone, Lakeside, Ohio Players, Slave and many others.
Unfortunately Jimi Hendrix has had his greatest influence over Black Music in death as opposed to the influence and acceptance that he sought from the brothers while he was with us on this earth.
It wasnt, I have seen the Isley Brothers perform the song live, Ernie Isley is just that good !!!
“The Rock Star”
Rock Historians tell us that this is the only phase of Jimi Hendrix career that is of any real importance. I strongly disagree !!! Jimi Hendrix himself hated the persona that had been created for him during this period. Jimi produced some great music during this period and had his greatest comercial sucess. But he felt as if he had fallen in to a formula that he needed to escape from. That’s why he broke up the “Jimi Hendrix Experience”, at the height of their fame and moved forward.
“All Along The Watchtower” is a good example of the genius of Hendrix. The song was originally written & performed by Bob Dylan. Hendrix took the song and made it his own. His version of “All Along The Watchtower” bears little resemblance to Dylan’s version and became a big hit for Jimi Hendrix back in 1967. Interestingly enough when Dylan performs the song today……..he performs it using the same style that Jimi Hendrix did, rather than his own !!!
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