Jimi Hendrix

The Legends Collection: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

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This two-disc set from a British budget label recycles for the umpteenth time some gray-area Jimi Hendrix recordings that have been making the rounds on one album or another for 30 years. The bare-bones packaging reveals nothing more than song titles (some of which are incorrect), but the material is well known to collectors. "Sweet Thing" (aka "Sweet Thang"), "Groove Maker" (aka "Groovemaker"), and "She's a Fox" (aka "Fox") from the first disc, and all of the second disc (i.e., the last ten tracks) are recordings made by singer/saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood circa December 1963, on which Hendrix served as a sideman; his first actual studio recordings. (The exception is "Two in One Goes," which does not feature Hendrix at all.) On these jams and R&B tunes, the 21-year-old's style is already well developed. "Red House," "Blues Blues" (actually "I'm Gonna Leave This Town/Everything's Gonna Be Allright"), and "People's Peoples" (actually "Bleeding Heart") were recorded circa March 1968 at the Scene nightclub in Manhattan with Jim Morrison on harmonica. They are rough recordings, never intended for release, but feature some excellent guitar work. And the first ten tracks were recorded live at a performance by the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Albert Hall in London on February 24, 1969, that was filmed for a never-released movie called Experience. On "Room Full of Mirrors," the band is joined by Dave Mason on guitar, Chris Wood on flute, and Kwasi Dzidzornu on bongos. The show is loose, but there is some powerful playing. Hendrix fans unfamiliar with these recordings, or looking for them on CD, might want to pick this album up, but no one should buy it thinking they are getting a good, inexpensive compilation of Hendrix's career highlights. This is material outside the official canon, of interest to completists.