Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell And Angels Review By Nick DeRiso

Jimi Hendrix's legacy has been so brazenly, endlessly plundered, it's fair to approach any so-called "new" material from the late guitarist with a deep distrust. Circumspection this time soon transforms into pure joy.

 

Exploring a series of roving, post-1968 sessions after the dissolution of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, People, Hell and Angels does, indeed, include freshly discovered sounds -- though separate takes, in some instances, have seen the light of day.

For instance, another version of the opening 1969 track "Earth Blues" can be found on 1971's posthumous Rainbow Bridge. Here, though, Hendrix explores a leaner, funkier groove with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, with whom he would take later record Band of Gypsys. "Somewhere" is, similarly, a different take than had been heard previously -- this time, interestingly, with Stephen Stills on bass.

 

"Izabella" was first heard at Woodstock, then redone by the Band of Gypsys for a 1970 single, but is redone here with the Hendrix studio ensemble Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. "Inside Out" and "Hey Gypsy Boy" are embryonic attempts at more familiar songs, "Ezy Ryder" and "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)."

 

Elsewhere, People, Hell and Angels focuses on Hendrix's initial sessions with Cox and Miles (his visceral update of "Hear a Train A Comin'" a searing take on Elmore James' "Bleeding Heart," and the sadly unfinished "Villanova Junction Blues), as well as a riffy R&B jam with saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood (1969's "Let Me Move You"). "Mojo Man" finds Hendrix funking up a Muscle Shoals tune from Albert and Arthur Allen, better known then as the Ghetto Fighters.

 

The album is rounded out by a few odds and ends, not atypical of the albums that have followed Hendrix's untimely death at just 27 in 1970. The difference here is, co-producers Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott have vastly improved upon previously released cuts: "Easy Blues" is the full-length instrumental, featuring Larry Lee, Cox and Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, that had been horribly truncated on the now-out-of-print 1981 album Nine to the Universe. Meanwhile, these newly released versions of "Crash Landing" and "Hey Gypsy Boy" serve to right an even more tragic wrong -- deleting, and most welcomely, the sessions musicians who had been overdubbed to the original 1969 Hendrix recordings back in the mid-1970s.

 

Of course, the very unfinished nature of this take on "Villanova Junction Blues" serves to remind us both of Hendrix's fizzy, almost manically creative drive -- but also his awful end. Record companies have been trying for years to recapture some of that magic, often doing unspeakable damage to the very legacy they were supposedly trying to celebrate. With People, Hell and Angels, Legacy Recordings has gotten it right -- blessedly, finally, right.

By: Nick DeRiso

Views: 55

Tags: jimi hendrix, nick deriso, people, hell and angels

Comment

You need to be a member of Rock.com Community to add comments!

Join Rock.com Community

Comment by Barefaced Liar on May 8, 2013 at 12:03am

Check out our Rock live performance

Latest Activity

Luiz Pimenta updated their profile
11 hours ago
News posted blog posts
14 hours ago

Rock Legend
Hennessey posted a blog post

New release

Well my friends ... been a long time ... miss you all. Been a busy boy this past year ... and since alot of my original fans started right here in the rock.com hayday ... well this one's for you \m/,Sell music on itunes at…See More
21 hours ago
News posted blog posts
Monday
CPROCK_promosibandindo posted a status
"Pengen tau dong kakak... cara ikutan jadi band #indienationXL , lgsg deh pantau Favorites ini klik https://twitter.com/kawiswaraID/favorites"
Sunday
CPROCK_promosibandindo posted a status
"Pengen tau dong kakak... cara ikutan jadi band #indienationXL , lgsg deh pantau Favorites ini klik https://twitter.com/kawiswaraID/favorites"
Sunday
csar9691 commented on Gary904's status
"I know and they don't have the chatbox anymore"
Friday
csar9691 posted a status
"miss this site :) been busy now that I'm settle with my new place I can check in here anytime"
Friday
News posted blog posts
Sep 10
Luiz Pimenta is now a member of Rock.com Community
Sep 10
News posted blog posts
Sep 8
Profile IconJhade Ryan Checa and Prop Stop joined Rock.com Community
Sep 7

Rock Star
THE FRO !!! posted a photo

Big Sacred Smile

Happy , Happy , Big Ol , Big Ol , Dumb Ol Dog !
Sep 7
twinsrock liked Steve Rosen's blog post Keith Emerson & Greg Lake: Live at Manticore Hall
Sep 7

Rock Star
Steve Rosen posted a blog post

Keith Emerson & Greg Lake: Live at Manticore Hall

As two-thirds of ELP - one of the most successful prog bands of all time - keyboardist Keith Emerson and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Greg Lake have reinterpreted several of their classic songs on this live CD. Recorded on May 8, 2010 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut,  the musical duo covers "From the Beginning," "Take a Pebble," and "I…See More
Sep 6
News posted blog posts
Sep 5

Rock Star
Gary904 posted a status
"where have all the good times gone?"
Sep 5
WoWee is now a member of Rock.com Community
Sep 3
News posted blog posts
Sep 3

Rock Star
Steve Rosen posted a blog post

Peppino D'Agostino Penumbra

Peppino D'Agostino truly is a virtuoso in every sense of the word. His touch is a sweet caress, his compositions are angelic sighs, and his tone is that of a soaring eagle. on Penumbra, the Sicilian-born instrumentalist breathes life into not only self-written songs but interpretations from other writers.On the…See More
Sep 2

© 2014   Created by Rock.com.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service