Eagle Rock’s Mingus Montreux Show Shines In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Going to live shows is neither easy nor inexpensive nowadays.  Between the collective cost of tickets — which is itself oftentimes bank-breaking — transportation, food, potential lodging and souvenirs, and of course planning around work and family schedules, getting out to live shows is not easy for anyone.

Those barriers make the availability of live recordings something critical for audiences everywhere, regardless of genre.  To that end, live CDs deserve their own consideration just as much as studio recordings, each year.  Keeping that in mind, Phil’s Picks has developed once again a list of the year’s Top 10 new live CDs.

This year has been an interesting one for live CDs.  Some notable live CDs were featured as part of bigger bundles (E.G. The Rolling Stones’ San Jose ’99 and Voodoo Lounge ’94 shows) while others, such as Alice Cooper’s A Paranormal Night @ The Olympia Paris and Marty Friedman’s One Bad M.F. Live were standalone offerings.

Some were standout offerings for all of the best reasons.  Others had some problems to note.  Keeping all of this in mind, this year’s crop of live CDs deserves just as much attention as the vast sea of studio recordings released throughout the year.

Topping this year’s list is yet another live CD from the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of Charles Mingus’ classic 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival show.  This recording presents Mingus at one of his finest moments, and why his live performances were — and still are today — such powerful presentations.

Coming in second in this year’s list is the new Jimi Hendrix live CD, Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  This CD was released as part of the bigger Electric Ladyland box set, and stands out so strongly because of its set list, Hendrix and company’s performance and the production values.

Third place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live CDs goes to veteran viking metal outfit Amon Amarth.  The 30-song set list spans two nights and quite an expansive portion of the band’s catalog.  That set list is directly mirrored on its DVD and BD presentation, and sounds just as good.  Though because of the intensity of the show, it is still better appreciated being seen and heard and not just heard.  That’s not to say the CD presentation is bad, but audiences will agree that hearing it makes for far more appreciation for the concerts’ DVD and BD presentations.

Also featured in this year’s list of top new live CDs are those noted new offerings from Marty Friedman, Alice Cooper and The Rolling Stones alongside new offerings from Opeth, Devin Townsend and John 5 to name just a few more titles.  As always, this critic’s list features 10 of the year’s top new offerings plus five honorable mentions, which follow, for a total count of 15.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 new Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Charles Mingus — Live at Montreux 1975
  2. Jimi Hendrix — Live at the Hollywood BowlAug. 14, 1968
  3. Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
  4. Devin Townsend Project — Ocean MachineLive at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
  5. Opeth — Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  6. The Rolling Stones — No SecuritySan Jose ’99
  7. The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
  8. John Mclaughlin & The 4th Dimension and Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip — Live in San Francisco
  9. Marty Friedman — One Bad M.F. Live
  10. Accept — Symphonic TerrorLive at Wacken 2017
  11. Alice Cooper — A Paranormal Night at The Olympia Paris
  12. Fates Warning — Live Over Europe
  13. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow — Memories in Rock II
  14. John 5 and The Creatures — It’s Alive
  15. Overkill — Live in Overhausen

Verve’s New Coltrane LP Is The Cream Of 2018’s New Albums Crop

Courtesy: Verve RecordsVer

From the mainstream to the underground, from the worlds of jazz and blues to the worlds of pop and rock, audiophiles have been given quite a bit this year to appreciate.  Up-and-coming blues-rock band The Record Company and veteran jazz outfit Yellowjackets joined World Music act Yiddish Glory to prove to be some of this year’s best new music.

Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix album Both Sides of the Sun, composer Klaus Schultz and veteran performers Elvis Costello & The Imposters also provided some memorable new music along with Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ry Cooder and Femi Kuti.

Considering how many top notch records were released this year, developing this year’s list was not easy by any means.  The acts noted previously all turned out some very impressive offerings.

After much analysis and consideration, this critic has placed atop the year’s top new albums list is the long-lost album from John Coltrane, Both Directions At Once.  The record stands out as a shining beacon that music lovers across the board should hear at least once, regardless of their familiarity with Coltrane and his body of work.

Second in this year’s list is taken by Yiddish Glory’s new album The Lost Songs of WWII.  Listeners learn some very important history about Jewish music, culture and history through this album that should be in so many listeners’ libraries.

Third place in this year’s list goes to composer Klaus Schultz and his new album Silhouettes.  The otherworldly compositions featured in this record are stunning in their presentation.  They conjure thoughts of some of Nine Inch Nails master mind Trent Reznor’s most powerful instrumental works crossed with just a touch of John Williams sensibility.  It really is a powerful presentation that crosses genres and deserves so much attention.

The remainder of this year’s list features new albums from the likes of Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Femi Kuti and The Record Company just to name a few acts.  As always, the list’s top 10 titles are the best while the five that follow are honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 Albums of the Year.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. John Coltrane — Both Directions At Once
  2. Yiddish Glory — The Lost Songs of WWII
  3. Klaus Shultz — Silhouettes
  4. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite — No Mercy in this Land
  5. The Jamie Lawrence Sextet — New York Suite
  6. Jimi Hendrix — Both Sides of the Sky
  7. Femi Kuti — One PeopleOne World
  8. Ry Cooder — Prodigal Son
  9. Yellowjackets — Raising Our Voice
  10. The Record Company — All Of this Life
  11. Billy Gibbons — The Big Bad Blues
  12. Elvis Costello & The Imposters — Look Now
  13. Onyx Collective — Lower East Suite Part Three
  14. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — Tearing at the Seams
  15. Joe Bonamassa — Redemption

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‘Electric Ladyland’ Re-Issue Is A Fitting Tribute To A Legendary Musician

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix LLC/Legacy Recordings

Jimi Hendrix, over the course of his professional career, released a grand total of only three full-length studio recordings – Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland.  By today’s standards, releasing three albums is not that much of an accomplishment for any music act, yet somehow, Hendrix has remained one of the single most influential figures in the music industry to this date.  That is, again, despite having only released three full-length studio recordings.  It is an interesting concept.  He is considered so influential because of the creativity exhibited in the songs that he composed, both musically and lyrically.  That third noted album is one of the most powerful exhibitions of Hendrix’s creative range and his talent, and early this month, the music industry celebrated the 50th anniversary of its original release, with a special re-issue of that record.  Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition was released Nov.  9 via Sony Legacy and Experience Hendrix, LLC.  The four-disc collection is a wonderful new presentation of the landmark album.  That is due in no small part to its overall primary content, which will be discussed shortly.  The book in which that content is contained is just as important to the set’s presentation as the primary content.  It will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Edition.  All things considered, they make this new deep dive into Hendrix’s groundbreaking final album one of the year’s top new album re-issues, if not the year’s best.

Sony Legacy and Experience Hendrix LLC’s recently released 50th anniversary edition of Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 album Electric Ladyland is one of this year’s best new album re-issues, if not the single best in that category.  That is proven in part through the primary content included in the new “box set” of sorts.  The primary content features not only the original Electric Ladyland album on a single disc, but also a full disc of demos that Hendrix recorded during the Electric Ladyland sessions, a full recording of Hendrix and his band mates at the time – Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell – performing live at the Hollywood Bowl and a Blu-ray documentary that focuses on the creation of Electric Ladyland.  In other words, the primary content is spread across three CDs and one Blu-ray disc.  The documentary, At LastThe Beginning, originally aired in 1997 as part of the Classic Albums TV series, so its presentation here is not the first time that it has ever been available in any format.  As a matter of fact, Experience Hendrix, LLC last released the rock doc on DVD in 2008.  It features interviews with Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, Eddie Kramer and others involved in Electric Ladyland’s creation that offer plenty of insight and entertainment.  The entertainment includes anecdotes from Miles about his enjoyment of playing shuffles against Hendrix’s guitar riffs, one session keyboardist’s laughing story of having never been paid for his session work with Hendrix, and Redding’s own discussions about Hendrix’s creativity with each song.  The more insightful discussions feature talks on the eventual breakdown in the band over the course of the album’s recording, – including Hendrix allegedly coming in hours late for a recording session – the album’s various arrangements and how they came to be, and Hendrix’s own role in the album’s creation.  Overall, the documentary is something of an audio-visual presentation of the history presented in the set’s companion liner notes.  It even features many of the pictures that are featured in the set’s book.  To that end, it makes the documentary that much more important in its own right, as part of the set’s primary content.  Of course, the doc is only one part of what makes the set’s primary content so important.  The set’s live recording adds even more enjoyment to the set’s whole.

The live recording, Live at the Hollywood Bowl presents Hendrix and his fellow musicians performing live at the noted venue on September 14, 1968, only a month before Electric Ladyland’s initial release.  Interestingly enough, while the performance was recorded only weeks ahead of the album’s release, the concert pulled heavily from The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut 1967 album Are You Experienced.  Save for ‘Little Wing,’ which was included in 1968’s Axis: Bold As Love and ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return),’ which is included in Electric Ladyland, the rest of the 11-song performance’s set list comes from Are You Experienced.  This is important to note as one would have thought the being so close to Electric Ladyland’s release, the group would have focused more attention on that album, yet for whatever reason, chose not to go that route.  That is not a bad thing, but rather just noted.  The band’s performance of the set list makes for its own enjoyment, as the whole thing feels so organic.  Even as Hendrix notes near the performance’s end the concerns about the powers that be wanting to turn off the power, he and his band mates never show any sense of stress or concern.  It is just one of so many moments that shows that organic feel.  Between the group’s casual nature as it preps for each song, its interactions with the audience between the songs and the very performance of the songs, the whole thing feels so natural.  This is all so important to note in that performances from so many of today’s big name acts do not have that organic feel, as much as acts – regardless of genre – try to make their performances feel.  Keeping this in mind, the fully organic, natural feel of the band’s performance here makes the recording so enjoyable.

On another level, the live recording is important to discuss because of its audio mix.  Listeners will note in taking in the recording that it sounds just as organic as it feels.  The scratchy, static-filled sound from the concert’s original recording is on full display here.  It adds so much pleasure to the concert experience.  In an age in which everything is digital, this sound shows that it is fully possible to transfer classic recordings to CD without any loss in the process.  It proves that as much as consumers today want to move toward all things digital, there is still very much a place for physical media, and a justified place for it at that.  When this is considered along with the positives of the performance – and the fact that this recording apparently has previously been unreleased —  it becomes clear why Live at the Hollywood Bowl is an important addition to Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’s whole.  It still is not the last important addition to the set’s presentation.  The audio companion to At Last: The Beginning is yet another important part of the set’s primary content to discuss.

The 20-song collection gives audiences a glimpse into the creative process for the Electric Ladyland sessions, and into Hendrix’s own mindset as he composed the album’s songs.  Early on in the collection, audiences get an interesting variance in the ‘Angel’ demo.  The demo for this song was played either on bass or in a rather low key on guitar.  By comparison, the final album cut features more depth with its added effects and bluesy riffs.  While maybe not a stark difference, it is still a notable difference.  Hendrix’s demo of ‘Hear My Train ‘A Comin’’ is another interesting moment from At LastThe Beginning.  While it sounds dramatically different from the final cut – and is very short here at just shy of 90 seconds – the pure approach here with just Jimi and his guitar conjures thoughts of Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt just to name a couple equally well-known blues names.  The emotion in Hendrix’s voice in the demo for ‘My Friend’ is yet another example of what makes this collection of demos and rarities such a welcome addition to the Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.  It is hardly the last example of the compilation’s importance, too.  Between this demo, the others noted here and the rest of the collection’s featured works, the whole of the disc is sure to offer its own share of entertainment for listeners.  That includes the most devoted audiences and the most novice fans.  When its importance is considered alongside the importance of the rest of the noted primary content, it becomes wholly clear and without doubt that the extensive amount and type of material that makes up the set’s primary content makes for more than enough for audiences to appreciate here.  Of course as important and impressive as the set’s primary content is to the set’s whole is, that content is not the only content worth noting.  The secondary content is just as important to examine as the set’s primary content.

The secondary content presented in Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is composed mainly of the photos and liner notes inside the set’s “book.”  The liner notes and pictures take audiences even deeper into the set than the musical content.  A prime example of that depth is the revelation that the cover art proposed by Hendrix’s label at the time – Reprise Records – featured a bevy of completely nude females.  That cover, by the way, is featured in a picture in the book, so it is not proper for young eyes, as a warning for audiences.  The liner notes reveal that Hendrix was none too pleased with that proposal, especially after having proposed a far more tame cover, which is in fact presented in this release.  Another interesting revelation produed through the liner notes is that Hendrix did not want to take control of the album’s recording sessions, but ended up largely taking control, albeit very reluctantly.  Yet another intriguing revelation made through the set’s liner notes is that Hendrix was apparently a very devout fan of Bob Dylan, and that Dylan in fact appreciated Hendrix’s take of Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’ so much that he actually went on to use that version in so many of his own live shows.  That is a true sign of respect between two legendary musicians.

As if the revelations produced in the primary liner notes are not enough for audiences, there are also liner notes for many of the demos featured in the audio-only presentation of At LastThe Beginning.  Audiences learn through those notes that Hendrix was forced to take the lead in the sessions for ‘Little Miss Strange’ due to scheduling conflicts with producer Chas Chandler.  That revelation leads to even more interesting related discussions.  The notes on ‘Long Hot Summer Night (Take 14)’ provide their own interest as there is a discussion on the connection between Hendrix and cosmetics giant Revlon.  Audiences will be left here to find out more about that connection for themselves.  When that interesting story is considered along with the other equally interesting information shared in the liner notes (both those discussed and not discussed here), the whole of that information creates even more content for audiences to appreciate.  When it is collectively considered alongside the primary content already discussed here, the whole of that is more than enough reason for audiences to appreciate in this set.  Considering all of this, the set’s average price point proves to be money well-spent.

The average price point for Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition comes to $52.50, using prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.  The release is listed at Best Buy, however, its listing does not list specifically if the item listed is the CD Deluxe Edition or the vinyl deluxe edition.  The set’s mode price (most commonly listed price) is $49.19, which is the price listed at Amazon, Target and Walmart.  Keeping both of those prices in mind, both are relatively affordable considering the amount of content presented throughout the set.  Even when shipping and handling are included into the costs, audiences will agree that neither price is overly expensive.  When one takes this into consideration along with the noted content, the whole of this set proves a welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s library.  As noted earlier, when one considers all of the elements together, they prove Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition one of the year’s top new music re-issues, if not the year’s best so far.

Sony Legacy’s recently released Jimi Hendrix recording Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is a welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s library.  That is due in no small part to the set’s extensive primary content, which includes the original pressing of the groundbreaking record, a full collection of the album’s demos and outtakes, a previously released documentary focusing on the album’s creation and a full live performance from 1968 at the Hollywood Bowl.  The secondary content presented inside the set’s companion “book” adds eve more entertainment and insight for audiences to appreciate.  When all of the noted content is considered along with the set’s average (and mode) price, the whole presentation proves to be money well-spent.  Keeping everything in mind, the re-issue in whole proves to be not only a welcome addition to any Hendrix fan’s library, but also one of the year’s top new music re-issues, if not its bet so far.  Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available now.  More information on this and other Jimi Hendrix releases is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

 

 

 

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Hendrix’s Final Album To Be Re-issued This Fall

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix LLC/Legacy Recordings

Legacy Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC will re-issue another of Jimi Hendrix’s classic records this fall.

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary Box Set is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 9.  The forthcoming re-issue will be released on separate 3CD/1 Blu-ray and 6 LP/1 Blu-ray sets.

Both platforms will feature the original double album in a new 5.1 surround sound mix by Eddy Kramer — the first time any of Hendrix’s records have received such treatment.  They will also feature an expanded documentary following the making of Electric Ladyland, 24 bit/96 kz high resolution stereo audio, previously unreleased takes of songs recorded during the album’s recording sessions, a previously unreleased live album and new companion book featuring handwritten lyrics and previously unreleased photos.

The previously unreleased live album, Jimi HendrixLive at the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68was pulled from Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records official bootlegs series.

Originally released October 16, 1968, Electric Ladyland is considered one of Jimi Hendrix’s most important albums.  That is because the album is considered to present Hendrix at his most focused and cohesive point.  The album, which features such hits as ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Burning of the Midnight Lamp’ and ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return),’ is the only of Hendrix’s studio recordings to ever reach the top spot on Billboard’s charts.  It was also his final album before his untimely death in 1970.

The bonus compilation Electric LadylandThe Early Takes features song ideas that Hendrix himself recorded on a reel-to-reel tape machine in early 1968.  It also features songs recorded at Sound Center and The Record Plant in New York.  Some of the early takes featured in this collection are ‘Angel Caterina,’ ‘Little Miss Strange,’ which features guest appearances from Buddy Miles and Stephen Stills, and ‘Long Hot Summer,’ which features a guest appearance by Al Kooper on piano.

At Last…The BeginningThe Making of Electric Ladyland chronicles the album’s creation through interviews with those close to Hendrix including Kramer, Miles, Jimmy Hendrix bassist Noel Redding and band mate, drummer Mitch Mitchell among others.  Kramer discusses the techniques that Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell used to create the album during his interviews.

The companion 48-page booklet features essays by music critic David Fricke and producer John McDermott.  It also features previously unreleased photos taken by Kramer during the album’s creation and directions from Hendrix to executives at Warner Brothers Records taken from his own personal notebook accompanied by internal memos from the label.

The full track listing for the upcoming release of Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary Box Set is noted below.  Pre-orders are open now, and a trailer for the box set is streaming online here.

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition includes:

Electric Ladyland – original album remixed by Eddie Kramer in 5.1 Surround Sound 

Side A

1)   … And the Gods Made Love

2)   Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)

3)   Crosstown Traffic

4)   Voodoo Chile

Side B

1)   Little Miss Strange

2)   Long Hot Summer Night

3)   Come On (Part I)

4)   Gypsy Eyes

5)   Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Side C

1)   Rainy Day, Dream Away

2)   1983….(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

3)   Moon, Turn the Tides….Gently Gently Away

Side D

1)   Still Raining, Still Dreaming

2)   House Burning Down

3)   All Along the Watchtower

4)   Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

 

 At Last…The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes

Side A

1)   1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

2)   Voodoo Chile

3)   Cherokee Mist

4)   Hear My Train A Comin’

Side B

1)   Angel

2)   Gypsy Eyes

3)   Somewhere

4)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 1]

5)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 3]

6)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 4]

7)   Snowballs At My Window

8)   My Friend

Side C

1)   At Last…The Beginning

2)   Angel Caterina (1983)

3)   Little Miss Strange

4)   Long Hot Summer Night [Take 1]

5)   Long Hot Summer Night [Take 14]

Side D

1)   Rainy Day, Dream Away

2)   Rainy Day Shuffle

3)   1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At The Hollywood Bowl Sept. 14, 1968 (Dagger Records) 

Side A

 1)   Introduction

 2)   Are You Experienced

3)   Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Side B

 1)   Red House

 2)   Foxey Lady

3)   Fire

Side C

 1)   Hey Joe

 2)   Sunshine of Your Love

3)   I Won’t Live Today

Side D

1)   Little Wing

2)   Star Spangled Banner

3)   Purple Haze

At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland documentary (Blu-ray)

·       Uncompressed LPCM Stereo 24b/96k

·       Uncompressed LPCM 5.1 Surround 24b/96k

·       DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround 24b/96k

More information on the box set is available online along with all of the latest Jimi Hendrix news at:

 

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

‘Both Sides Of The Sky’ Reaches For, Reaches The Sky In Its Debut

Photo Credit: Mike Berkofsky

There’s good news for Jimi Hendrix’s new album.

Both Sides of the Sky, the latest collection of songs from the legendary guitarist, debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200.  This figure comes after the album’s first week sales were announced early this week.  The album was released March 9 in stores and online, with March 16 marking its first full week of availability.

Along with its Top 10 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, the album also charted at #3 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums and Top Rock Albums chart.  It has also proven a success overseas, with Top 10 debuts in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria.

These collective figures make Both Sides of the Sky the third consecutive Hendrix collection to debut in Billboard’s Top 10.  The 13-song record features guest appearances from Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills and Lonnie Youngblood. It was co-produced by Hendrix’s longtime producer, Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’s sister and Experience Hendrix, LLC head Janie Hendrix, and John McDermott, with liner notes penned by McDermott.

Both Sides of the Sky is available now.  It can be ordered online now here.  Its track listing is noted below.

Both Sides of the Sky tracklist:

1)    Mannish Boy*

2)    Lover Man*

3)    Hear My Train A Comin’*

4)    Stepping Stone*

5)    $20 Fine*+

6)    Power Of Soul^

7)    Jungle*

8)    Things I Used to Do#

9)    Georgia Blues++

10)  Sweet Angel*

11)  Woodstock*+

12)  Send My Love To Linda*

13)  Cherokee Mist*

 *Previously unreleased

^ Previously unavailable extended version

+Featuring Stephen Stills

#Featuring Johnny Winter

++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

Produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.

More information on Both Sides of the Sky is available online now along with all of Hendrix’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://jimihendrix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Jimihendrix

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Both Sides Of The Sky’ Available Now; Performance & More Planned For Celebration

Photo Credit: Mike Berkofsky

The wait is officially over for the latest Jimi Hendrix compilation.

Both Sides of the Sky hit stores and online outlets today.  The 13-song record, co-produced by Hendrix’s lontime producer and friend Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’s sister Janie and fellow friend John McDermott, is available on CD, 2LP vinyl and digital platforms.  In celebration of the record’s release, an all-star cast of musicians — Billy Cox (whose work can be heard throughout the compilation), Buddy Guy, Nato Nanji, Tim Austin and The Slide Brothers — will perform live on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! next Tuesday, March 13.

Fashion designer John Varvatos is also joining the celebration.  He has created a new t-shirt featuring exclusive artwork.  the shirt is available exclusively via Varvatos stores, online and via retail partner Bloomingdales.  As an added bonus, the album’s 2LP vinyl pressings are also being sold in select John Varvatos locations.

The record’s track listing is noted below.

Both Sides of the Sky tracklist:

1)    Mannish Boy*

2)    Lover Man*

3)    Hear My Train A Comin’*

4)    Stepping Stone*

5)    $20 Fine*+

6)    Power Of Soul^

7)    Jungle*

8)    Things I Used to Do#

9)    Georgia Blues++

10)  Sweet Angel*

11)  Woodstock*+

12)  Send My Love To Linda*

13)  Cherokee Mist*

 *Previously unreleased

^ Previously unavailable extended version

+Featuring Stephen Stills

#Featuring Johnny Winter

++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

Produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.

More information on Both Sides of the Sky is available online now along with all of the latest Hendrix news at:

 

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

‘Both Sides Of The Sky’ Is Another Fitting Tribute To The Legacy Of Jimi Hendrix

Photo Credit: Mike Berkofsky

The wait for the next new Jimi Hendrix album is almost over. This Friday, March 9, Both Sides of the Sky will finally be available in stores and online. This 13-song, 66-minute collection of previously unreleased compositions, it goes without saying, was one that was well worth the wait, and a fitting finale to the trilogy of albums started eight years ago with 2010’s Valleys of Neptune. It is a record that will easily appeal to Hendrix’s longtime fans while also serving as yet another solid introduction to him and his body of work for those less familiar with said music. That is due in no small part to the songs that make up the record’s body. They will be discussed shortly. The companion booklet that comes with the album’s physical copy also plays an important part in making the album so impressive. It will be discussed later. The album’s production and sequencing collectively round out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own way, as will be pointed out through this review. All things considered, they make it a must have for Hendrix fans of all ages and one of this year’s best new overall albums.

Both Sides of the Sky, the latest Jimi Hendrix compilation record from Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings, is one of this year’s top new overall albums and a must have for Hendrix fans of all ages, hands down. That statement is proven in part through the songs that make up the body of this new compilation. As has been noted already so many times, the songs featured in this record were crafted at the height of Hendrix’s career. Given, not all of the songs featured here are his — the record’s opener is a Muddy Waters cover and ‘The Things I Used To Do’ pays homage to blues legend Guitar Slim. It also features Johnny Winter alongside Hendrix. There is even a take of Joni Mitchell’s hit single ‘Woodstock’ featuring none other than Stephen Stills (of CSNY fame) alongside Hendrix and company — but each of the songs still stands firmly on its own merits. One of the best of the featured songs is the extended take ‘Hear My Train A’ Comin’.’ This bluesy, down-tempo, fuzz-filled composition expertly puts on display Hendrix’s rock chops right alongside his blues talents alongside those of drummer Mitch Mitchell, who just as expertly keeps the song moving forward even with all of his fills, and bassist Noel Redding (the other 2/3 of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience). The overall impact of the trio’s combined talents serves to — as is noted in the album’s liner notes (which again will be discussed later) — push “blues far beyond any parameters its founders had ever imagined.”

‘$20 Fine’ is another of the featured songs that serves to show why the music in this record is so important to its presentation. This laid back arrangement, complete with organ and vocals from Stephen Stills is completely unlike anything else that Hendrix had recorded in his career. That’s because it wasn’t the standard blues-based rock arrangement or even straight up blues arrangement for which he had become known. Rather, it was more along the lines of works from CSNY, The Doobie Brothers and others of that ilk. What’s really impressive here is that even being such a departure for Hendrix, he still pulls off his line with full expertise. When the fuzz of his guitar line couples with Stills’ vocals, the organ and the song’s other elements, the end result is one of the album’s most standout moments.

In the same vein as ‘$20 Fine,’ ‘Woodstock’ is another departure for Hendrix in this collection. Unlike that composition, the organ takes center stage this time, laying the foundation for the arrangement. Buddy Miles’ work on the kit solidly builds on that foundation while Stills’ vocal delivery puts the finishing touch to its presentation. Even more impressive is that while it is more of a roots rock-based arrangement — again like ‘$20 Fine’ — it doesn’t just re-has that song’s arrangement. Instead it boasts its own arrangement that is just as enjoyable as that of the prior song and even the rest of the album’s entries. What’s really interesting here is that considering the time at which this song was crafted, its arrangement leaves one wondering if maybe Hendrix didn’t play at least some influence in the development of Deep Purple’s sound. Yes, this critic just aligned Jimi Hendrix with Deep Purple. Those familiar with their music history will hear the comparison, too. Odds are there likely isnt’ a connection, but one can’t deny the similarity between the latter’s work to the prior, regardless. That in itself shows even more the importance of this song to this record’s whole. When it is joined with the rest of the songs not noted here, the end result there is proof positive of why the album’s songs are key to the album’s presentation. They are not the album’s only collectively important element. The record’s companion booklet is just as important to its whole as its songs.

The companion booklet that comes with Both Sides of the Sky is critical to its overall presentation in that it provides audiences with so much valuable and interesting back story on the songs in question first and foremost. Right off the top, audiences learn through the booklet’s provided information that the recording of ‘Mannish Boy’ marked the very first recording session for the group that would eventually go on to be called Band of Gypsys. Each song’s personnel is listed in the back of the booklet — yet another positive to the booklet, proving again why the physical object is better than the digital — allowing listeners to learn that the group in question consisted of Hendrix, Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. Another interesting piece of information provided in the album’s companion booklet is the revelation that ‘Lover Man’ featured a tribute to the original 1966 Batman series. It’s a tribute that otherwise might not have even been realized, even with the riff, without this note. The liner notes also reveal that ‘Send My Love to Linda’ was never completed, so the version presented here is an edit of sorts that was done to “complete” it. What’s more listeners also learn in this discussion that just as with ‘Send My Love to Linda,’ much of Hendrix’s creative work was done in studio rather than outside. As if all of this is not enough, listeners are also treated to an in-depth back story on ‘Power of Soul’ that includes note of its creation starting with Hendrix hearing Cox playing a bass line from a song called ‘Mary Ann,’ which was made famous by Ray Charles. The take featured here, the notes state, was just one of a handful of takes recorded for the song. Audiences learn that the masters for an abridged take of the song were lost and have never been found. That shortened version, audiences learn, was included in the rare 1974 Hendrix record Crash Landing. This in-depth back story is just one more example of what makes this album’s companion booklet so critical to the album’s whole. When it is joined with the rest of the stories presented in the booklet, including the revelation that until now ‘Georgia Blues’ — which was part of the soundtrack to PBS’ documentary Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues — has never been commercially available, the whole of the stories makes the booklet its own entertaining presentation. When it is coupled with the songs, that pairing shows even more clearly why this record is so impressive. Even with that in mind, there is still at least one more element to discuss that makes the album so enjoyable. That element is the record’s collective production and sequencing.

The collective production and sequencing presented throughout Both Sides of the Sky are pivotal to its presentation because without the time, thought and effort put into these elements, the booklet and songs themselves would be worthless. Luckily, the team of John McDermott (who also crafted the booklet’s liner notes), Hendrix’s sister and not least of all Hendrix’s longtime producer Eddie Kramer, didn’t allow that to happen. It was thanks to their tireless efforts that each song was expertly re-mastered prior to being presented. Every riff, every word and every note is clearly represented in every single song. At no point does one part overpower the others. In other words, each song is expertly balanced, giving listeners the full experience. Staying on that note the effect of that time and effort is heightened even more through the record’s sequencing. Thanks to the time and thought put into the album’s sequencing, the energy that is exhibited through that expert production never wavers. That is the case even in the slower, full-on blues arrangements. Even as they are slower in tempo, the power in their arrangements still maintains the energy exhibited in the album’s other songs. Keeping this in mind, the whole of the album’s production and sequencing goes a long way in itself toward making this record enjoyable. When it is considered alongside the record’s songs and stories, the whole of those elements shows without doubt why Both Sides of the Sky is a must have for Hendrix fans and true music lovers alike and why it is unquestionably one of this year’s top new overall albums.

Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recording’s latest Jimi Hendrix compilation Both Sides of the Sky is a wonderful must have for Hendrix fans and true music lovers alike. What’s more, it is one of this year’s top new overall albums. These statements are supported in part through the album’s featured songs. They give listeners something familiar and also something not so familiar, showing the reach of Hendrix’s talents. The stories provided by John McDermott — who co-produced the album with Hendrix’s longtime producer Eddie Kramer and Hendrix’s sister Janie — add even more interest and depth to the record. That is because they make the record’s companion booklet its own entertaining element. The collective production and sequencing used here put the finishing touch to the album’s presentation. Each element is important, as has been noted in this review. All things considered, they make Both Sides of the Sky another solid Hendrix offering from Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings, one that is, once more, one of this year’s top new overall albums. more information on Both Sides of the Sky is available online now along with all of the latest Hendrix news at:

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