Jimi Hendrix

Two Great Experiences

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Some of the recordings on Two Great Experiences are so absurd that you need to be a detective to know if Jimi Hendrix is on the record at all. Hendrix does perform on the What I'd Say album, live recordings by Curtis Knight with the disc label titled Early Jimi Hendrix, a different name for that collection than what is on the cover. The Friends from the Beginning album with Little Richard has absolutely no Hendrix. Which brings us to this Maple Records release, another alleged Hendrix product from "producer" Johnny Brantley for Vidalia Productions. Vidalia put out suspect product on Shout Records, and also released Moods on Trip, something Springboard International, the cheapo label, appeared involved with (they had distributed at least one Trip project, an album called Rare Hendrix). All of this stuff is disgraceful -- capitalizing on the death of the most innovative electric guitarist of the time. There are nine minutes and 38 seconds of jams credited to Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Youngblood, and they are tracks seven through ten. It is not extraordinary music, but if this stuff is going to proliferate (and it is, indeed) then maybe it is time for Brantley and Ed Chalpin and all the people who have rare, early Hendrix tapes to just work something out with the Hendrix estate and let professionals create a CD documentary with dates, times, players, and commentary. The music is presented here lumped under one umbrella with the illusion that Hendrix is all over the disc. The instrumental tracks allegedly with Jimi Hendrix -- "Under the Table," "Table II," "Table III," and "Psycho," with the tape machine stopping and starting and no definite liner notes giving any hints -- become valuable more for the unique photograph of Youngblood and Hendrix on the cover. "All I Want," which starts side two, is simple '60s R&B with a throbbing bassline, keyboards, drums, and a distant, twanging rhythm guitar. Isn't it amazing that Hendrix fans never got to hear Youngblood and Knight tour the country performing these classic tunes? The only thing monumental about these releases being sold in this fashion is that they are examples of grave robbing as hideous as the destruction of portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The silver lining is that someone might be able to piece together a good look at the guitar genius by finally putting this mess in order.

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