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  1. #1

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    As much as I consider myself a dedicated student of the music that is, for practical purposes, called Jazz (and blues), and of the guitar aspect of the music, I don't think I have ever heard an electric guitar player in the entirety of modern contemporary music play with as much fire breathing intensity, raw emotion, expression and spiritual conviction and depth as Jimi Hendrix.
    It's the closest I've heard a guitar come to John Coltrane level divinity.

    I know thousands of players of many styles like and are influenced him and it's no surprise. But to me he's still the O.G. and I have a hard time believing there will be anything like him for a long time.

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  3. #2

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    Foolish mortal, you deign to post about JIMI HENDRIX in a jazz forum? In the PLAYERS section?

    <waits for thunderclap and lightning to strike...>

  4. #3

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    OK, I’ll take the bait. He isn’t jazz, though he can play jazzy. I think what he did was to use outrageous technique to express sexual energy. As such, he was perfectly emblematic of his time.

    As far as expressing “fire breathing intensity, raw emotion, expression and spiritual conviction and depth”, hmmm I think there are a lot of people who fuse incredible technique with great emotion. Paco de Lucia immediately comes to mind, also Django, Segovia, McLaughlin both in his more traditional jazz roles, fusion and acoustic work with Shakti. Jim Hall has a depth of expression that is unbelievable.

    I will say Hendrix definitely played some iconic songs, like Little Wing, The Wind Cried Mary, 1983, Voodoo Chile that got about as much emotion out of the electric guitar you’re going to get.

    And let’s not forget about Stevie Ray Vaughn’s versions of Little Wing and Voodoo Chile.

  5. #4

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    I loved him when, as teens, we had all the records and saw him live at the Fillmore (I was at that New Year's Eve show w/the Band of Gypsies) and Woodstock. He had roots in blues and R & B---you can hear he got things from Curtis Mayfield's rhythm playing---and put something almost undefinable on top of it. Just amazing mind, ears, and fire. And he was jazz-influenced as hell, and polyrhythmic, naturally superimposing all kinds of meters on top of the basic 4/4.

    I still feel the same way, and want to get the recordings again. And I'm considered a traditional jazz, archtop, and acoustic player. So what? Great is great...

  6. #5

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    Great pentatonic and blues scale player.

    Great rhythm player.

    Very creative user of effects.

    Greatest guitarist ever as promoted by guitar magazines? Not hardly.

    What a shame he died so young.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    Great pentatonic and blues scale player.

    Great rhythm player.

    Very creative user of effects.

    Greatest guitarist ever as promoted by guitar magazines? Not hardly.

    What a shame he died so young.
    With all respect, I think the fact he is still idolized 50 years after his death means he is one of the greatest guitarists in our lifetime.

  8. #7

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    I think his time is great, miles ahead of most rock players. Also the rhythm section of his band essentially plays jazz/fusion. You can't talk of a player and leave his era outside the conversation. He was also the first one to do the singing overdrive type of sound, like Sabbath were the first band to put distortion power chords on the map, so for me that's his number one contribution to the guitar language. Lots of modern jazz players elaborated on that.

    I must have 20-25 vinyls, i love his playing. And he had so much more to play, hadn't he died so young..

  9. #8

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    He was a tone colourist, and we rarely get that in jazz.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff

    And let’s not forget about Stevie Ray Vaughn’s versions of Little Wing and Voodoo Chile.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Oh, I'll happily forget that self indulgent Little Wing where the rhythm section is relegated to being a 10 minute guitareoke backing track. Guitar player music. Yuck.

    Jimi was a force of nature. A true original. I was just listening to Band of Gypsies the other day...its as raw, vital, and grooving as anything ever released.

  11. #10

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    Hard to believe its been 50 years since Hendrix walked among mere mortals. I was in my early teens at the time, very into Beatles, Stones, and Dylan, just beginning to know about Jeff Beck and Clapton, but I hadn't yet picked up a guitar. My buddies and I went nuts when we first heard Hendrix, and I jumped into guitar playing soon after. Though there have been many flashy, fire-y, brilliant rock players to come along since then, there was no one doing what he did at the time he did it. Chatting with a friend years ago we speculated on how Hendrix's style might have evolved, my guess was jazz fusion, maybe a collaboration with Miles Davis or some such. He definitely sold more Strats than any Fender sales rep could imagine. I read somewhere that Fender had considered ceasing production of Strats, then Hendrix set one on fire at Monterey. Wonder how many Strats and copies have been produced since then? Great that the guy's star is as bright as ever.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    ....where the rhythm section is relegated to being a 10 minute guitareoke backing track
    Guitareoke?


    GUITAREOKE?!!


  13. #12

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  14. #13

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    Besides all the great sonics, Hendrix was a composer that was unlike anything before or after IMHO. His compositions took turns that were dramatic, poetic, driving, dynamic, etc. They also weren't epics in terms of part of completely thematic concept albums, although he may have gone there at some point if he had lived longer. They were just his and actually a bit restrained when you think of it that way. Great compositions nonetheless.

    And SRV's Little Wing? It shows that he could play the song and play it well with a lot of feel. It also shows a lot of self-indulgence by the shear repetition of what he plays. Hendrix may have been self-indulgent, too, but maybe more so in his live performances. The recordings are pretty restrained as I mentioned above. Note that his version of Little Wing is probably the shortest of anyone that has ever covered it. I think that even when he played it live he kept it short.

  15. #14

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    This picture says it all. In 1967, even Eric Clapton wanted to be Jimi Hendrix.


  16. #15

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    To me, from a guitarist's perspective, Jimi was a real mystery as well.

    The first record of his I bought was the New Years Fillmore Band of Gypsies, which I have always considered his peak and one of my favorite records... magical, transcendent, complete mastery. But later I bought a record made just a few years earlier (1966) and was shocked at how poor was his playing - sounding very much like an average youngster about the two year pentatonic wanking stage... I only played it once, discarded the record and saved the cover to put on my dorm room wall because it unfolded into a big portrait of him composed of concentric red circles.

    I could not understand how his playing could change so much so fast, but it did serve as a suggestion and reassurance about the merits and possibilities of focus and practice.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    With all respect, I think the fact he is still idolized 50 years after his death means he is one of the greatest guitarists in our lifetime.
    Glad you agree.

    One of the greatest? Certainly.

    As much as I like Elvis, he is not THE GREATEST singer of all time.

    One of the greatest? Certainly.

  18. #17

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    hendrix was huge influence..even on jazzers

    all the early fusion guys dug him

    ever hear mclaughlins lp devotion?? cut at electric ladyland studio..with buddy miles on drums!!

    coryell and jimi used to jam together on stage all the time...coryell trying to cut him...

    even miles was trying to get at his sound...miles paramour at the time was betty davis...who had been "close" with jimi prior...huge influence on miles move to electric miles

    mclauglin-marbles- opening track from devotion



    cheers

    ps- how great is organist larry young on that ^ track!
    Last edited by neatomic; 02-08-2020 at 10:55 PM. Reason: ps-

  19. #18

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    Great hearing Voodoo Child (slight return) again. It still sounds fresh, and a thousand miles beyond his copyists.

    Talking of Miles, he did say to Mike Stern, "play like Hendrix!"

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Guitareoke?


    GUITAREOKE?!!


    Lol, I like Stevie, but that Little Wing is pure crap, revered by white dudes who wouldn't know the blues if they gave it to someone.

    For the record, I think his Voodoo Child is great. Real energy.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Lol, I like Stevie, but that Little Wing is pure crap, revered by white dudes who wouldn't know the blues if they gave it to someone.
    'I'm here through Thursday....'

    Can I get comped to hear the rest of your act?

  22. #21

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    Guitar music is divided into two eras - before Jimi Hendrix, and after Jimi Hendrix. Things have not been the same since. Those who did not live through the change would have great difficulty realizing how profound was the difference. Sure, other people here and there were experimenting with feedback and effects and so forth, but Hendrix' notes embodied such energy and soul and sheer creativity it was astounding.
    I will never forget hearing Hendrix for the first time - the spine-tingling first chord of Foxey Lady emerging from the half-ton Phillips radio in the room shared by my brother and I, a frisson building to an irresistible wave - it left everyone else in the dust.

    IMO.

  23. #22

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    He definitely influenced jazzers, though he never played a note of jazz himself (IMO), but if he had ....Hendrix Playing Jazz Standards?


  24. #23

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    Never heard of him.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Never heard of him.
    & yet he was a corpse before you!

    cheers

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    he never played a note of jazz
    Manic Depression? Fun version here (no guitar or singing):


  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    'I'm here through Thursday....'

    Can I get comped to hear the rest of your act?
    Lol, you're always welcome.

    I'll stick to my guns on this though. There's a reason that Little Wing wasn't released during Stevie's lifetime...he knew it was just a wankfest too. A shadow of what him and DT were capable of.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Great hearing Voodoo Child (slight return) again. It still sounds fresh, and a thousand miles beyond his copyists.

    Talking of Miles, he did say to Mike Stern, "play like Hendrix!"
    It's also many miles from Muddy Waters, from whom Jimmy learned a lot.
    I remember a guy I knew in high school saying that he thought Jimi Hendrix came from the future. I saw his point. But the more I matured as a player and listener, the more I realized how heavily indebted Hendrix was to his musical past----he 'went to school' on R&B, blues, soul, and funk. He was a great rhythm player. And like all true bluesman, he knew how to work a good riff. He had a strong musical foundation on which to build.

  29. #28

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    well said mark...& so true!! jimi had been in the chitlin circuit scene long before he went to the uk and became a star!..he paid some dues...and learned from some good ones..they say cornell dupree was big early influence...(dupree was in -stuff- alongside eric gale for years...was one of the alltime greats..all about spacious chords!!..and ever so tasty licks..a great!..rip)

    whenever musicians jammed with jimi, they were always amazed that they could hand him any electric guitar or bass!!...and he could play it upside down (he was lefty) and not miss a beat...he was deep music..whether it blossomed to the "jazz" degree you wish, well... but what mighta been...& he was a true lover of guitar..and as such a brother!

    cheers

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    And let’s not forget about Stevie Ray Vaughn’s versions of Little Wing and Voodoo Chile.
    I disagree. Why even mention somebody else's imitation of the great originals? Various others also did covers of these and other Hendrix songs. Red House in particular. I think these were tributes, not because the other artists thought their versions could equal his.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    It's also many miles from Muddy Waters, from whom Jimmy learned a lot.
    I remember a guy I knew in high school saying that he thought Jimi Hendrix came from the future. I saw his point. But the more I matured as a player and listener, the more I realized how heavily indebted Hendrix was to his musical past----he 'went to school' on R&B, blues, soul, and funk. He was a great rhythm player. And like all true bluesman, he knew how to work a good riff. He had a strong musical foundation on which to build.
    I completely agree with the guy you knew in high school. I realized this when I first heard Hendrix in 1967. Yes, of course, his musical past was a factor. It is with everybody. Yes, he had a great foundation. But indeed he took it into a new dimension. One that holds up so well 53 years later.

  32. #31

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    funny, but the little wing cover that first comes to mind to me, is not the later srv cover, but the great version by derek & the dominoes...with eric clapton and duane allman on guitars...and they cut it while jimi was still alive!!! it was a tribute to the living man!

    whatever you think of clapton...dominoes were great band..carl radle of oklahoma on bass..rock solid..the great jim gordon..wrecking crew crowd drummer...and great bobby whitlock on organ and great gospel vocals...and add duanes slide



    cheers

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    funny, but the little wing cover that first comes to mind to me, is not the later srv cover, but the great version by derek & the dominoes...with eric clapton and duane allman on guitars...and they cut it while jimi was still alive!!! it was a tribute to the living man!

    whatever you think of clapton...dominoes were great band..carl radle of oklahoma on bass..rock solid..the great jim gordon..wrecking crew crowd drummer...and great bobby whitlock on organ and great gospel vocals...and add duanes slide



    cheers
    I think it's a wonderful version...pure ecstatic love. They got it. Not a huge fan of Clapton overall, but when he got it right back in the day, he sure did get it right.


    For every Derek and the Dominoes, there's something like this, unfortunately. Here's a guy who only heard SRV's version and never paid attention to the fact that it's a love song...love for someone ELSE.


  34. #33

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    Talking about rock guitarists in jazz context, the only not jazz (and not jazzrock or flamenco) guitarist I find interesting is Jimmy Page. I mean for me he is the one who express some deepness, melody, and emotional content what we all look for in jazz. Of course others contributed many billboard songs, but I am talking the impros. I know Led Zeppelin many times accused to be not original, but they really captured something from the blues deep felings, converted and integrated it to they British white culture. Some tracks are real pieces, not especially the song, but Jimmy Page's impros, and the highest level of musicans interaction what we only know from jazz music.
    Last edited by Gabor; 02-09-2020 at 12:23 AM.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    funny, but the little wing cover that first comes to mind to me, is not the later srv cover, but the great version by derek & the dominoes...with eric clapton and duane allman on guitars...and they cut it while jimi was still alive!!! it was a tribute to the living man!

    whatever you think of clapton...dominoes were great band..carl radle of oklahoma on bass..rock solid..the great jim gordon..wrecking crew crowd drummer...and great bobby whitlock on organ and great gospel vocals...and add duanes slide



    cheers
    I have always really liked that version and I will admit that I am a D & Ds fan. As you say they must have cut it before Hendrix’s death but I think the album was released a month or two afterward. A lot going on back then.

  36. #35

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    The Monterey Pop Festival..1967..the first "rock festival"

    they made a movie of it...Hendrix Experience first USA appearance...

    He plays "Wild Thing" the old Troggs tune..only very different (ahem)
    in the solo..he plays behind his back.."Strangers In The Night" mixed with some
    fragments of Purple Haze..

    after.. he had "sex" with his guitar and then burned it..

    he went on tour and along the way..some very smart promotor..manager..booking company..teamed
    Jimi ...with..The Monkeys!!

    Ok mom & Dad..little Dolly and Bobby will be having nightmares for a while..

    mommy..whats a manic depression..and wont he get burned if he stands next to her fire..??
    hey hey!!! were the junkies...

  37. #36

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    Jimi?

    It’s been a long times once I’ve properly listened to him. I grew up with music, and he remains my main reference for how an electric guitar should sound. (Hey, Purple haze was meant to have been recorded on a tele, right? :-))

    Intensity and groove, two things most rock players will never come close to him on because he came out of a hard apprenticeship with the top guys in black music of that era....

    but there was Buddy Guy and all those heavy blues players.... I mean what other guitarist could lay claim to Sonic Youth, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Scott Henderson as successors?

    I’ve learned to value other ways of playing, but when I was 15 it was only Jimi and Peter Green (for a completely different type of intensity) other than that it was the old blues guys, Sumlin in particular, or get lost...

    these days I’m less of a blues fascist when it comes to rock, but I have to say for modern players that come close to Jimi? Well I can’t compare because I didn’t hear him live. Derek Trux has an intensity to him, for instance. Rock was a brave new world back then of course, now it has norms and stylistic constraints and a specific technical approach to playing.

    Of his generation I feel Pete Cosey took it one step further even as a lot of the out and out rock guys tended to be actually more influenced by Clapton and maybe Mike Bloomfield even as they namechecked Jimi (I mean they didn’t have his funky feel, right?)...
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-09-2020 at 07:15 AM.

  38. #37

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    Another thing, Jimi liked to play in the baritone range of the guitar, which worked well in trios etc. A lot of rock guys are more like high tenors.

    Jimi said “Kenny Burrell that’s the sound I’m looking for.” It makes more sense when you think about register/instrumentation.

  39. #38

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    My first concert was Hendrix in Honolulu at the HIC Arena October 5, 1968. I'll never forget it. I couldn't sit down the entire time, totally blew me away. I studied with Coryell for about four years and he had some great Hendrix stories as they were good friends (both from Seattle) Larry was in the studio when Hendrix recorded the long version Voodoo Child. Hendrix: "Hey Larry you want to jam on this one?" Larry: "No Jimi, it sounds pretty good as it is". Of course Larry could play rings around Hendrix as far as jazz vocabulary. That being said he summed it up this way, "Jimi was a genius".
    BTW there's a picture floating around on the web of Larry and Jimi jamming together. Hendrix is playing bass!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaco
    My first concert was Hendrix in Honolulu at the HIC Arena October 5, 1968. I'll never forget it. I couldn't sit down the entire time, totally blew me away. I studied with Coryell for about four years and he had some great Hendrix stories as they were good friends (both from Seattle) Larry was in the studio when Hendrix recorded the long version Voodoo Child. Hendrix: "Hey Larry you want to jam on this one?" Larry: "No Jimi, it sounds pretty good as it is". Of course Larry could play rings around Hendrix as far as jazz vocabulary. That being said he summed it up this way, "Jimi was a genius".
    yeah I think that sums it up. Larry was great obv, but Hendrix had that thing that transcends the notes (hey I think Coryell learned something about that off Jimi, many players did no?)

    Jazz players have had that... Charlie Christian springs to mind, but it’s something I think I hear most with horn players. Brecker said he learned a lot from rock guitar players for instance....

    jazz guitarists sometimes I think define themselves too much in contrast to rock players, and we end up throwing something out that we shouldn’t? Usually the blues and dramatic intensity it can seem....

    OTOH there is more than one way to be a guitar genius, which is the fun for a listener!

  41. #40

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    I think Jimi Hendrix is, along with Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century off written music (including Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Gil Evans), much copied but never matched. For me, the presence of the blues is undeniably one of the causes

    as a guitarist, the comparison is indeed imposed with Charlie Christian, and out of the influence of the blues, Django Reinhardt

  42. #41

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    I reckon Django’s a lot bluesier than people think when you start digging into his stuff... He’s like Bach in that he cheerfully does all the things you are meant to avoid when imitating his style lol

    Yeah I mean these sorts of ‘greats of 20th century’ list always end up getting longer and longer .... but there are some you can’t do without and Jimi is one. I think if Django had never existed the guitar would have continued much as it did. Not so with Jimi and of course Christian.

    btw Gil Evans was a student of Stephan Wolpe, very much a 20th century concert music guy who studied with Busoni and Schrecker, it’s not always possible to make a neat division between concert music and everything else. And any greats list would also have include Quincy who studied with Messiaen and Boulanger...

    but yeah...

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    ....
    It's the closest I've heard a guitar come to John Coltrane level divinity.
    .....
    Look, we all know what you mean, but personally I'd never dare to use both Hendrix and Coltrane in the same sentence. Jimi would be the first to laugh at this...

  44. #43

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    I regret if this pains fans, but I can't help saying out loud that I dislike everything about that man; music, playing, guitarsound, voice, image.

    I've asked several older people to show me where the good bits are in their opinion, and why there is such a cult around him, but they never went beyond "but don't you hear it???", or "you'd have had to be there".

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    ...
    plutôt qu'un long discours / rather than a long speech

  46. #45

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    I used to be a big fan of Jimi. I guess I'm still a fan, but these days more of his rhythm playing and songwriting. Solos? I think I prefer Clapton more now, to me he was/is one of the greatest storytellers as a soloist, and Jimi is just... too much!

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    I think Jimi Hendrix is, along with Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century off written music (including Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Gil Evans), much copied but never matched. For me, the presence of the blues is undeniably one of the causes

    (snip)

    as a guitarist, the comparison is indeed imposed with Charlie Christian, and out of the influence of the blues, Django Reinhardt
    Just want to clarify for anyone seeing that Hendrix/Nuages clip for the first time, it's a fake.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    I regret if this pains fans, but I can't help saying out loud that I dislike everything about that man; music, playing, guitarsound, voice, image.
    ...
    Nah man, Jimi was every bit a Rock God in the era where pop/rock/blues/psychedelia was way more popular than just about anything else. Certainly blew my mind!

    I was just saying that Coltrane was a Jazz God,... different planet, different Universe even...

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    Just want to clarify for anyone seeing that Hendrix/Nuages clip for the first time, it's a fake.
    Sorry. Thank you very much. I was surprised, I had never heard it. Anyway it doesn't change my comment, I found this video by chance

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    I regret if this pains fans, but I can't help saying out loud that I dislike everything about that man; music, playing, guitarsound, voice, image.

    I've asked several older people to show me where the good bits are in their opinion, and why there is such a cult around him, but they never went beyond "but don't you hear it???", or "you'd have had to be there".
    Different strokes and all that, but curious if you are a fan of the rock guitar genre at all. I've seen all kinds of debates over the years re Hendrix vs Clapton vs Page vs Beck etc, but haven't seen any that discounted Jimi's "guitar god" status and his revolutionary approach to solo guitar

  51. #50

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    I saw Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood—both friends of Jimi—play Little Wing in concert a few years ago. One of the highlights of the show.

    As I recall, McLaughlin was getting started in England when Hendrix hit the scene and jammed with him a few times.



    There was a lot of mutual admiration among all the guitarists of the time. McLaughlin btw didn’t start out as a bebop-playing prodigy. He played RnB and did rock session work and backed Georgie Fame among other things. So it’s not a stretch to say Jimi could have been a jazzer if he wanted to move in that direction. (John studied piano and violin before moving to guitar...)

    Apparently there are tapes of Jimi jamming with Zappa as well.

    Too bad he didn’t get with Miles, as is well rumored. The more I listen to Miles from that period the more I think they would have gotten along well together and created some interesting music. It’s said that one of them sent a telegram to Paul McCartney asking him to play bass with their new “group”, but Jimi died before that happened.

    (Still waiting on the Miles-Prince jam sessions to be released...)

    I guess one of the most impressive things about Jimi was how open he was to all influences and to playing with anyone and everyone.