People, Hell & Angels... Jimi open the vaults
Review: Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell & Angels
Published on April 6th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Jimi Hendrix and his band at the time – primarily the Band of Gypsys lineup, along with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles – were working on these tracks with a view to following up the classic Electric Ladyland, and these particular recordings of them have never before been released. So it’s sort of new.
The freedom afforded by having their own studio gives rise to plenty of inspired blues jams, including “Somewhere” with Stephen Stills on bass and “Let Me Move You” with saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood, the latter of which comes bizarrely close to anticipating the Benny Hill theme tune at one point.
Now that we’ve got our daft observation out the way, we can talk about all the deliciously smoked-out wah peddle, rumbling drums, swirls of organ and Hendrix’s amazing rasping screams. “Easy Blues” is dominated by awesome squalls of guitar, while “Hear My Train a Comin'” is a veritable parade of laterally conceived blues soloing – but it’s set opener “Earth Blues” that steals the show with its wonkily soulful/soulfully wonky chords ascending and descending in semi-tones, punctuated by the odd signature twiddle like a great painter nonchalantly putting his name to his work.
Eddie Kramer, engineer for the bulk of the 1,500 hours of recorded music that Hendrix left behind, says this will be the last posthumous album to feature unreleased studio material, but that more unreleased live recordings will be made available in the coming years. The more you know, eh? As wrong and disrespectful as it feels to subject Jimi Hendrix to the quailing process, we have to do it in the interests of consistency: therefore, obvious genius + historical document – slightly frustrating prevalence of twelve-bar blues = four. Four quails.
There, we did it.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
People, Hell & Angels is out now on Legacy. For more information, please click here to visit the official Jimi Hendrix website.