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A Hendrix Masterclass
on 15 November 2016
Cleverely buttressed by an intimate 1967 acoustic rendition of Hear My Train A Comin' and a blistering electrified live take of the same from 1970, the tracklist of this compilation is a masterclass in the Blues textures, techniques, tones and styles of Jimi Hendrix. Mixing covers with original material it's a literal motherlode for the Hendrix enthusiast - even though some of the tracks are out-takes or studio jams,
Testament to the qualilty of this compilation is that it was the only Hendrix release to have been carried over from the often maligned Alan Douglas tenure of the catalogue when the Hendrix family finally gained control in 1998, and as such it remains in print to this day, unchanged.
That said, being an Alan Douglas production meant this release couldn't escape undergoing some butchery or other. The almost 9 minute long 'Voodoo Chile Blues' is a hybrid of two takes of 'Voodoo Chile' from the Electric Ladyland sessions. But you know what? It works. Similarly, 'Mannish Boy' was edited together from a number of different takes of the track. So although the infamous "Douglas touch" is in evidence with this compilation, we're not talking extreme or damaging measures such as the deletion of original musicians to be replaced by modern session-musicians, as was the case on some of his earlier Hendrix efforts.
So I'll give Blues a solid 5 star rating.
PS; If you're a Hendrix fan and visiting London be sure to check out the Handel and Hendrix house. It's the home of 17th century composer Handel with Jimi's 1969 apartment on the top floor, accurately recreated by his ex-girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. The place doesn't get nearly enough advertising, but it's a must-see for any Hendrix fan.