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Review and First Listen: Jimi Hendrix ‘People, Hell and Angels’

February 28, 2013

Recorded between 1968 and 1969 with primarily Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, who would make up Hendrix’s post-Experience trio Band of Gypsys, the cuts on ‘People, Hell & Angels,’ like many of the albums that have been released since his death in 1970, are more skeletal frames of songs than complete songs. That said, there’s plenty of fancy guitar work and creative ideas planted here, but few tracks boast the mind-bending studio tricks Hendrix experimented so wildly with on ‘Axis: Bold As Love’ and ‘Electric Ladyland.’

Any Hendrix fan will dig some of the album’s offerings. The stripped-down ‘Earth Blues’ reflects its title. ‘Let Me Love’ features a saxophonist. A cover of Elmore James’ ‘Bleeding Heart’ comes from Hendrix’s first session with Cox and Miles. And ‘Izabella’ was recorded with the band Hendrix played with at Woodstock.

But ‘People, Hell & Angels’ isn’t revealing like ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun,’ ‘South Saturn Delta’ and ‘Valleys of Neptune,’ the best posthumous Hendrix albums. Hendrix is basically being Hendrix on the 12 tracks, effortlessly tearing through guitar solos and working up bluesy shuffles that most likely would have been discarded or altered by the time he was finished with them. This is mostly the guitar legend finding his post-Experience footing.

Thanks to NPR, have yourself a first listen of ‘People, Hell and Angels’  Have A Listen

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