Curtis Knight

Get That Feeling

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Before Jimi Hendrix went to London to become a solo recording star, he had recorded some material with journeyman soul singer Curtis Knight and signed a contract with record executive Ed Chalpin. When Hendrix became an international superstar in 1967, this contract backfired on him badly, as Chalpin leased recordings of the Knight sessions to Capitol Records that did not in any way reflect what Hendrix had evolved into as a solo artist. Eight of these tracks were issued at the end of 1967 on Get That Feeling, which -- despite featuring only a picture of Hendrix, in all his 1967 glory, on the cover -- only features him as a guitarist session man, with Knight actually handling the vocals. (The back cover bills the LP to Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Knight, although Knight's name doesn't appear anywhere else on the sleeve.) It was not clear exactly when this material was recorded (there are no liner notes), but likely it dated from mid-'60s sessions shortly before Hendrix went solo, and/or jam sessions never intended for release. It was the beginning of contractual headaches for Hendrix and his managers vs. Chalpin that would last for the rest of Hendrix's life. Its controversy also helped ensure that in Hendrix histories, the music on the album itself is overlooked and rarely discussed in depth. It's actually listenable, although generic, 1960s soul/R&B/rock, with Hendrix playing well but much more conventionally than he did on his own recordings. You can hear hints of Hendrix's full-blown psychedelic style, as on the wah-wah effects on "Hush Now," while "How Would You Feel" is an obvious rewrite of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." The recording quality and mix, even by 1967 standards, isn't that good, although it's not truly terrible. If this had only come out as a bootleg years after Hendrix's death, it would probably be considered an interesting artifact, if of somewhat limited appeal to most listeners. As an entry into Hendrix's legitimate discography, though, it has to be considered peripheral at best, exploitative and unrepresentative of his music at worst.