Jan 26, 2009

Diggin' In The Crates "What? More Hendrix?" Edition

Even though another record (albeit a bootleg release) by this guitar god was featured last week, it can't hurt to feature a more legit release of his this week...

Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: Nine to the Universe
Label: Reprise
Vinyl: Standard black vinyl

Derived from in-studio jam sessions recorded between March and June of 1969, most of which involved Hendrix's last backing band (bassist and old Army buddy Billy Cox and original Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, who passed away a few weeks ago), Nine to the Universe is one of only two posthumous Hendrix albums respected by Hendrix fans (the other is the still-in-print Jimi Hendrix: Blues released in the early 90's by MCA) from the glut of posthumous material "produced" by the otherwise universally despised Hendrix archivist Alan Douglas, who had gotten a bunch of well-deserved shit for taking some unreleased Hendrix material and overdubbing some Los Angeles session professionals over it. 

Except for a bit of editing due to space constraints and a final mix done in 1980 by Ron St. Germain (who would later produce the Bad Brains' seminal I Against I album), these recordings are left exactly as Jimi and friends recorded them. And except for a bit of extemperaneous singing at the end of the title track, everything here is entirely instrumental. If you're one of those folks that could listen to Hendrix play guitar for hours - and there's a lot of you out there - this record's for you. 

Hendrix, according to the album's liner notes, was looking to collaborate with Miles Davis and Rashaan Roland Kirk, but his management at the time were cockblocking the poor guy and trying to pressure him to keep doing retreads of what he did on Are You Experienced? and Axis: Bold As Love

Unfortunately, this album has long been out of official print (a CD of questionable legality and sound quality floats around on eBay but isn't recommended) but isn't hard to find on eBay for under twenty bucks. Why some schmucks are trying to peddle copies of this same record on Amazon for close to five times as much is beyond this little black duck's comprehension. With all the care that the Hendrix estate's own Experience Hendrix label, its mail-order counterpart Dagger Records, and their manufacturing and distribution partner Universal Music has been giving Jimi's work since they got back all of his master tapes and gave Alan Douglas the shove, you'd think this record would have been given a proper, legitimate reissue. No such luck, unless a little bit of file sharing gives Experience Hendrix LLC the light under its collective ass it sorely needs...

1. Nine to the Universe
2. Jimi/Jimmy Jam
1. Young/Hendrix
2. Easy Blues
3. Drone Blues

Jimi Hendrix - guitar
Billy Cox - bass (except where noted)
Mitch Mitchell - drums (except where noted)
Buddy Miles - drums on "Nine to the Universe"
Jim McCartey - 2nd guitar on "Jimi/Jimmy Jam"
Roland Robinson - bass on "Jimi/Jimmy Jam"
Larry Young - organ on "Young/Hendrix"
Larry Lee - 2nd guitar on "Young/Hendrix"

1 comment:

Samuel Weinstein said...

Awesome post. Larry Young is the John Coltrane of the organ.