The undisputed king of guitar, Jimi Hendrix, was born 75 years ago today on November 27, 1942. His flame was sadly cut short at only age 27 on September 18, 1970, but he left behind a wealth of influential recordings that have long served as templates for how to innovative with 6- and 12-strings, both electrically and acoustically. And, hey, the man was a pretty damn good singer and songwriter too (see “Little Wing,” “Purple Haze,” et al).
Currently, hi-res Hendrix offerings are limited, but both options are worthy of attention nonetheless. Machine Gun: Live at The Fillmore East 12/31/1969 (First Show) captures an incendiary live set featuring Jimi on guitar and vocals, Billy Cox on bass, and Buddy Miles on drums and vocals, and includes the revolutionary title track, one of your HRAC CCO’s personal favorite live Hendrix performances overall.
Meanwhile, the 2013 People, Hell & Angels compilation houses 12 unreleased tracks Hendrix had been working on for the never completed followup to 1968’s seminal Electric Ladyland. Highlights include “Somewhere” and a Jimi-ized take on Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.”
Here’s hoping Jimi’s core catalog will get the proper hi-res treatment someday, and that, somehow, his longtime simpatico collaborator, producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, could work some 5.1 magic with Electric Ladyland, which is certainly one of the best albums to make use of the stereo sound palette in the rock era. Lord knows, I’m a voodoo child. . .