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Friday, March 8, 2013

Jimi Hendrix

People, Hell and Angels (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

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Intended as an authorized companion piece to 2010’s Valleys of Neptune, which unearthed the final studio recordings of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, People, Hell and Angels explores previously unreleased and often experimental tracks recorded by a restless Hendrix outside of the Experience between 1968 and 1970.

Hence, we hear Stephen Stills play bass on “Somewhere” and Lonnie Youngblood blow his sax while singing lead on “Let Me Move You.” Hendrix also reworked Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” into a memorable nontraditional arrangement, and the album closes with a never-finished studio version of “Villanova Junction Blues,” which Hendrix also performed at Woodstock with his new band, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.

Granted, versions of some songs appear on other albums. But Hendrix meticulously chronicled his sessions, and co-producer Eddie Kramer has given these 12 cuts a sonic overhaul. As a result, People, Hell and Angels is a timeless celebration of rock, soul and blues, leaving you to wonder where Hendrix—who would have turned 70 last November—could have gone next.


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