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Jimi Hendrix has been dead 43 years – and continues to be represented by a seemingly infinite stream of releases. If his Age of Aquarius idealism has been muddied, he can’t be held accountable for the milking of his artistic corpse. Nor can Hendrix answer the question posed by observers who’ve wondered how much that output has been about a desire to share his dazzling expressiveness and how much it’s about benefiting from the latter.

In any case, People, Hell and Angels will help keep music journalists busy.

Just about any Hendrix passage can impact someone whose playlist has been missing his soulful vocals, casually incendiary guitar work, and stream-of-consciousness compositions. But the process of documenting his creative, post-Experience process would be more intriguing if most of it weren’t already available — especially to diehards and completists — elsewhere.

Still, there’s scorching guitar in a cover of Elmore James’s “Bleeding Heart,” and welcome clarity in the original edition of “Crash Landing.” A funky, sax-spiked “Let Me Move You” inspires a fantasy (granted, Hendrix’ earlier career as a side man included a stint with the Famous Flames): On-fire Hendrix + James Brown. A rather chaotic mess? Probably. But it could have been a fine mess, all the same — perfect gospel accompaniment at the Church of Latter-Day Hendrix.

  • Album: People, Hell and Angels
  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Label: Sony/Legacy
  • Songs: (1) Earth Blues (2) Somewhere (3) Here My Train A Comin’ (4) Bleeding Heart (5) Let Me Move You (6) Izabella (7) Easy Blues (8) Crash Landing (9) Inside Out (10) Hey Gypsy Boy (11) Mojo Man (12) Villanova Junction Blues
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Comments

Alan Segal March 20, 2013 @ 4:54 p.m.

Good review, thanks. I listened to a couple of cuts on this album and was bored. I saw Hendrix for the first time when I was a student at SF State University in the 60s. He played in the gym in a free show with The Chambers Brothers, Buffy St Marie, and the Electric Flag. Mike Bloomfield was lead guitar for the Electric Flag and I thought at the time he blew Hendrix away. This was before Hendrix turned his playing into performance art. I know he got a lot better on the axe. But I never loved his music, and this oldie from the archives reminded me of Hendrix in the gym learning while he played.

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