- 12 Jan 95]
|NOEL ON LEAD & JIMI ON BASS?
|>From 'Setting The Record Straight':
|> "...Hendrix and Redding had a surprise in store for the audience, a switch
|> of roles that saw Redding play lead guitar on "Red House" while Hendrix
|> took over on bass"
|> Well, is this factual, or does the record STILL need to be set straight?
|It's NOT factual. This is one of the oft-repeated myths about Hendrix. Yes,
|Noel plays guitar in Paris - but it's still Jimi playing lead guitar.
|[Joel J. Brattin - 10 Nov 94]
In the late sixties there was "a storm a brewing" pulling jazz and rock
towards one another and the eye of this storm was Miles Davis. By being
intrigued by the sounds that Joe Zawinful (Cannonball Adderly's piano player)
was getting from his Fender-Rhodes piano he demanded that Herbie Hancock
feature the Rhodes and that Ron Carter switch to electric bass. Carter balked
and walked (Hancock was less than ecstatic about the idea) so Miles hired
Chick Corea and flew in a bass player from England named Dave Holland.
Holland brought over with him a tape of a guitar player that could easily
move between pop, blues, rock and jazz and that had musically grown up with
jazz-rock players such as Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Not long afterwards
John McLaughlin arrived in New York courtesy of drummer Tony Williams
All this time Miles and Jimi and been circling and brushing up against each
other from a distance. Hendrix was a little more than intimitated by Miles
and Miles had a bone to pick with Jimi concerning his new wife Betty and the
attraction that both she and Jimi had for each other. Betty hatched up a
party and in which Jimi and Miles were supposed to do a recording session but
Miles was conveniently absent when it came off even though he did leave Jimi
a piece that he had sketched out (Jimi couldn't make head nor tail of it, he
couldn't read music).
Nevertheless the ingrediants for the brew were being added to the pot in the
form of a jamming society that revolved around the twin axes of Miles and
Hendrix. Larry Coryell (who was foolish enough to get in a cutting contest
with Hendrix..."Coryell played all over the place for about ten minutes
racing up and down the fret-board and Jimi steps up for his solo and went
'ba-WO-O-O-OWWWW' erasing everything he did in the last ten minutes with one
note...it was silly for him to even try, liking walking into a blowtorch...
the fool" - Robert Wyatt of Soft Machine...anyway back to the story), Buddy
Miles, John McLaughlin, Tony Williams, Dave Holland, Steve Winwood, Jack De
Johnette, Mitch Mitchell, Jack Bruce and Larry Young. McLaughlin was invited
to the sessions which would become "In a Silent Way" where his guitar would
become an alternate center to Miles trumpet even though the album was
dominated by the three pianos of Hancock, Corea, and Zawinul. This lineup
culminated in "Bitches Brew" and was similarily heavy on the keyboards
although Larry Young took Hancocks place. An album that not only dominated
the jazz charts but ate the pop charts alive.
Williams, Young, and McLaughlin formed Lifetime. Jack Bruce toured along with
Coryell and Mitchell while Jimi played with the Band of Gypsys (he also
augmented Lifetime, albeit breifly, in '70). However Miles and Jimi remained
Alan Douglas (spits with disqust....don't start me talkin) teamed up Buddy
Miles and John McLaughlin for McLaughlin's album "Devotion" and had been
plotting with Gil Evans (the arranger for Miles "Birth of Cool", "Miles
Ahead", "Porgy and Bess" and "Sketches of Spain") to bring together Miles,
Hendrix, Tony Williams, and Evan's own orchestra. Work was to begin in 1970
in the form of rehearsals for a live album which was to be recorded at
Carnegie Hall, a week before startup...Jimi died. Gil Evans did eventually
record a concert in 1974 with Ryo Kawasaki and John Abercrombie *attempting*
to fill the shoes of the master in which was titled "Gil Evans Orchestra
Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix". It is perhaps the closest indication of
what would have happened if Jimi would have realized this dream, granted the
inadequacies of the two artists (which weren't bold enough to abandon the
notes and enter the realms of pure sound, can you say Sonny Sharrock).
Jimi's untimely death unleashed a spectre (along with the still living demons
of James Brown and Sly Stone) on Miles recordings in the 70's. Across both
"Jack Johnson" and "Agharta" we see the three combined in the form of Robert
Johnson's hellhound. On "Jack Johnson" Hendrix allusions dominate "Right Off"
and "Yesternow" from start to finish. From Billy Cobhams muscular R&B drums
(a young Buddy Miles with technique) to John McLaughlins fierce, snappy
Wah-Wah riffs to Sonny Sharrocks closing sections on "Yesternow" where he
unleashes a sea of feedback that drifts ominously through the music. But it
is with "Agharta" that we get as fans the most explicit understanding of what
might have happened if Miles and Jimi had gone into the studio together. Jimi
haunts "Agharta" from beginning to end and Miles invokes him ceaselessly
through both the two guitarists and his own wah-wah drenched trumpet and
organ. Pete Cosey (one of the guitarists) represents Jimi's ornamatic, poetic
guitar improvisation side while Reggie Lucas (the other guitarist) represents
Jimi's soul, funk, and R&B side. Here Miles both grapples with and mourns
Jimi by playing solos over the 4-sides of the album that are simultaneously
laconic and eloguent, sobbing unashamebly, without even the slightest hint of
sentimentaly. If you want to know what Miles thaught of Jimi go no further
than this album, everything you need to know is on "Agarta".
Ref: Crosstown Traffic --- Charles Shaar Murray
Skuse Me While I Kiss The Sky --- David Henderson
Electric Gypsy --- Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek
Inside The Experience -- Mitch Mitchell
Jerry Hopkins -- Hit and Run
[Bill Montin - 11 Jan 94]
|According to Miles in his autobiography he and Jimi had been playing at his
|(Miles) house a lot just jamming and they had thought now was the time to do
|something. Seeing as how they both played at Isle of Wight they decided to
|meet at a studio in London after the concert, but Miles got stuck in traffic.
|They both went their ways to fullfill show dates with plans to meet in a
|couple of weeks. Miles claims to have been waiting in a studio ready to play
|wondering where Jimi was, when he found out Jimi had died. That was one of
|the reasons he went to Jimi's funeral. He also says it was the last funeral
|he ever went to.
|This is for what it's worth. Lots of people including Miles have critized
|this Bio, but the writer claims everything in it was out of Miles' mouth.
|[Robert - 2 Jun 94]
|Which bio is that? Jimi was going to play with Sly Stone and others the day
|he died, I thought, not Miles. Setting the Record Straight says that Miles
|wanted too much money to play on a recording.
|[James John Hannigan - 3 Jun 94]
|The Miles Bio is called "Miles - The Autobiography" by Miles Davis with
|Quincy Troupe. Miles does make a refernece to wanting to play with Hendrix in
|1968 or 1969 but he says the money wasn't right. The attempts to play again
|happened in August & September of 1970. The item about Sly & Jimi playing
|together may come from the fact that Sly also played the Isle or Wright.
|Miles says that he was also very intrested in what Sly was doing.
|[Robert - 3 Jun 94]
|From what I gathered from one (or more) of the 7 Hendrix bios I have, Miles
|Davis and Hendrix enjoyed a warm personal and professional relationship until
|he learned of an amorous affair between Jimi and his (then) wife, Stella (who,
|incidentally, is now the wife of none other than Alan Douglas). That might
|explain (somewhat) why he demanded such an exhorbitant fee to record with
|Hendrix. Davis obviously liked his sound, and tried with varying degrees of
|success to integrate it into his own music after Hendrix passed.
|I've read Miles' bio awhile back and I remember being intrigued about his
|description of Hendrix' playing style: He thought Hendrix played "hillbilly
|style". I went back and listened to certain tracks ("Night Bird Flying" being
|the most obvious example) and I could sort of see what he meant.
|Oh yeah -- the Sly jam that never occurred on Sep 17th was supposed to have
|consisted of Sly Stone, Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Ginger Baker. I assume
|the once-great Larry Graham would have been the bassist.
|[Darryl - 7 Jun 94]
|>Are there any bootlegs of Jimi & Miles playing together?
|I think the answer is pretty clearly 'no'. There are indeed some studio
|Hendrix tracks that feature horns, and I have known some to claim that the
|trumpet is Miles Davis - but as far as I know, they never met in the studio.
|(Miles did play at the Isle of Wight gig, though; his track "Call It
|Anythin'" is on the _First Great Rock Festivals of the 1970's_ multi-album
|[Joel J. Brattin - 20 Jul 94]
|Here's my great story...
|Eric Clapton was in a guitar shop one day, and he happened to come upon a
|left handed fender stratocaster. Well, never minding the fact that Jimi
|played right handed guitars turned upside down, he bought the guitar as a
|present to Jimi, and since he had planned to go see a show with him that very
|night, he decided to bring the guitar with him. Well, the show started and
|Jimi never showed up, so Eric went home, probably thinking that he had just
|dropped a bit too much and wasn't feeling well. The next morning he read in
|the paper that Jimi had died that night. Clapton didn't go to the funeral,
|however, because he didn't want to turn his good friend's passing into a
|celebrity event, and seeing as how he was the most celebrated guitarist in
|the world at that time, he figured his presence would distract everyone from
|what the real reason for them being there was (i think this was a very cool
|thing of him to do).
|[Pablo - 28 Feb 1994]
|I remember a slightly different story. Clapton was in New York, and Jimi, of
|course, was in London. Clapton planned to jam with Jimi, so as an extra-
|special thing, he got him a left-handed guitar. I believe that they were
|going to have a session together as well. Anyway, Clapton had bought the
|guitar before Jimi was planning to come over. Clapton was then really exited
|about their upcoming session. When he heard that Jimi had died, he was really,
|really upset. He was permanently affected on that day: to this day, Clapton
|is still very upset about their missed jam and recording.
| This story comes from a PBS special on Hendrix that had many interviews,
|including one with Clapton. This interview revealed Clapton's emotional loss,
|and, very hurt feelings.
|[Quedo Veunchata - 28 Feb 94]
|I went through JHEG and much to my surprise could only find one entry in the
|bootleg section for Jimi & John jamming. It's on an album called _Hell's
|Session_ on an Italain label BGR. The name of the song is just called
|"Instrumental Jam" (S780). The only other cuts I know of are on _Multi-
|Colored Blues_, "Winter Blues" & "Last Thursday Morning". I'm pretty sure
|McLaughin is on these two cuts because (i) it sounds like him, & (ii) in
|"Winter Blues" they jam on a riff for a couple of minutes that is also on a
|Miles Davis record I have with McLaughin on it. The Miles record came out in
|1972 I think. That's all I could find. Frankly I thought there would be much
|more. I have an interview with McLaughin where he says he & Hendrix jammed
|alot and Hendrix recorded all of it, but he even mentioned that he's heard
|only one or two cuts himself. Maybe it will turn up someday.
|[Robert - 21 Jul 94]
|The following is an excerpt from an interview which appeared in the Sept.
|1975 issue of Guitar Player Magazine:
| "I first met Jimi in New York, through Mitch Mitchell, who had been with
|Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. I used to play with Georgie years and years
|ago, but at the time I was with Tony Williams' Lifetime. Mitch was really
|nutty about Lifetime. He came over and said, "You better come down to the
|Record Plant because we're recording tonite, just come on down." When I got
|there, Mitch wasn't actually there at all. There was a guy called Buddy Miles
|playing drums. I didn't know Buddy at the time; I just saw this guy who was
|playing some boogaloo. So I played, and then Jimi came and joined in. Dave
|Holland (Miles Davis' bassist) was there, and we played all night - it was
|really nice. Jimi used Marshall amps and would vary between a white custom
|Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Stratocaster. I was using a flat-top Gibson with
|a pick-up on it. We worked some chords out, but nothing complicated. We were
| I just saw Jimi about two or three times after that jam at the Record Plant,
|but we didn't play together then. Every time we met we were in a rehearsal
|studio, and it just happened; I have no secret disclosures. Listen, they tell
|me they found tapes of Jimi and me. There's a whole hoo-ha about it, and it's
|such a lot of bull. When I asked them to send something I'd want to hear,
|they sent me something which had two or three minutes on it - that's all.
|But if there is something, enough to make an album or two or whatever, then
|I want to hear it. And if it's good, I want it out: I want people to share
|it. But if it's not good, it's a ripoff. Jimi's been ripped off artistically
|since he died, just for the sake of money and that's a ripoff of the people
| Jimi was a beautiful guitar player. He wasn't very schooled; he had a
|limited knowledge as far a musical harmony is concerned. But he had such an
|imagination that he made up for it. He wasn't pretentious or anything. He was
|just a guitar player; thats all he ever wanted to be. I mean, he got spaced,
|you know, but we were all spaced in our own way. But he was still into the
|The following appeared in August 1992 issue of JazzTimes;
| 'When asked about the recent bootleg issue of a jam between Hendrix and
|McLaughlin, John replied;
| "What a ripoff! There was not too much to that. It was just like a party in
|the studio. That was never intended to be released"'
|[ - 21 Jul 94]
WHO/JIMI AT MONTEREY?
...Reminds me of that little feud between Jimi and Pete T. of The Who at The
Monterey Pop Festival. Neither wanted to play before the other so finally,
Jimi said he would play first and steal the show (then burned the guitar,
There was also the festival where the acts were arguing about who would
follow Jimi -- no one wanted to have to follow that act. Jefferson Airplane
ended up doing it, and the whole thing appears (mutated) in @i(American Pop).
JIMI'S GREATEST PERFORMANCES
>Could you give us your opinion on what you do think are Jimi's greatest
Here's how I'd rate a few shows:
Sweden 1967 [stages]: consistently fair-to-good.
Starclub 1967: consistently fair-to-good.
Monterey 1967: consistently good-to-excellent, best show ever maybe.
Paris 1968 [stages]: almost all good.
Winterland 1968: they seem to have been mostly good, but I've only
heard part of each of the six? shows. Thus I have no
Sweden 1969: 1st: a bit inconsistent, some fair-to-good, but much poor.
2nd: a bit more consistent, fair-to-good.
RAH 1969 2nd: inconsistent. Poor-to-excellent (mostly fair).
LA 1969 [lifelines]: consistently fair-to-good.
Newport 1969 Experience: mostly consistent poor-to-fair. Maybe 1-2 songs good.
San Diego 1969 [stages]: mostly consistent fair-to-good.
Woodstock: a bit inconsistent, fair-to-excellent (mostly fair/
BOG Dec 31 1969 2nd: inconsistent, fair/poor-to-excellent (mostly good).
Berkeley 1970: 1st: inconsistent, painful-to-excellent (mostly fair).
2nd: inconsistent, fair-to-excellent (mostly good).
Atlanta 1970: inconsistent, poor/fair-to-good/excellent (mostly
Randells Island NY 1970: mostly consistent poor/fair, with 1-2 songs good.
Maui [RB] 1970: 1st: rather consistently poor-to-fair.
2nd: inconsistent, fair-to-good/excellent (mostly good).
Isle of Wight 1970: inconsistent, poor/fair-to-good/excellent (mostly
Thus the shows with the very highest-highs are:
Monterey 1967, RAH 1969, Woodstock 1969, BOG 1969/70, and Berkeley 1970
But I tend to rate shows based on the consistent level of performance. For
example, I'd rated 1st Berkeley as "fair", even though it has some great
stuff. Same with RAH 1969. Its based on the feeling I have after listening
to the complete (more-or-less) concert and making a judgement. A rotten song
can make you forget about the gem that preceeded it.
I'm afraid that by labelling inconsistent shows as great, we risk turning
off the Hendrix newbies who buys one of the CDs/tapes, and is disappointed
that what is claimed as a great performance is clearly half junk. This is
particularly true of RAH 1969, since:
- the sound quality is bootleg-ish (Final/More Experience, etc).
- the song layout is bizarre (two versions of the same performance, etc)
- little thought about what was worth including (some very poor stuff)
- almost all the better stuff is available on Concerts, or In The West
with much better sound (VC SR, LW, and BH. RH is availlabe too).
As you might guess, I was not too happy with the _Final Experience_ et al
albums, and I'd hate for a newbie to buy it thinking they are getting the
best live disc of Hendrix.
[Mr. Scott Hannon