[JPL] Hendrix/Mitchell

louisx louisx at verizon.net
Thu Sep 13 12:45:55 EDT 2007


I agree that Mitchell being a jazz drummer had a lot to do with the group's elastic sound.  It's interesting...Hendrix was a big Buddy Guy fan.  Buddy Guy's early drummer was Freddy Below, who was also a jazz drummer. If you listen to "Look How Baby" on the Buddy Guy/Junior Wells "It's My Life Baby" Vanguard recording, you hear the roots of Hendrix's sound. I always thought of Hendrix as Buddy Guy and Cornell Dupree rolled into one, with the volume on twenty.  I think I have "Hendrix In The West" on vinyl. I'll check and let you know, Jae.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jae Sinnett 
  To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com 
  Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 12:34 PM
  Subject: [JPL] Hendrix/Mitchell


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  Speaking of Mitch Mitchell...Mitch was amazing. He's a jazz drummer. That's part of the reason you really never heard him on much of anything else coming out of England...or anywhere else for that matter. The vibe was rock. Jimi loved him and from my perspective he was the drummer that brought the most out of him. It wasn't a rock gig but the way Jimi played permitted Mitch to play in many ways - from a jazz perspective. I'm not so sure I agree in that Mitchell was unhappy not getting more exposure. What more could he have done...musically speaking as a drummer? Now the business may have been a different issue. 

  From a drumming perspective Jimi gave him all the room he wanted. No doubt. The Band Of Gypsies with Buddy Miles - although short lived - was an interesting contrast to the Experience. It wasn't as elastic as the Experience but certainly had its moment ...particularly on "Machine Gun." To hear Mitchell at his best with Jimi find "Hendrix In the West" and "Rainbow Bridge." By far the best recordings released on Jimi and sadly both are out of print. (If anyone has a copy of "West" and could make me a copy onto CD...lets talk) "Bridge" contains an 11 minute version of "Hear My Train A Comin"....which is the only live track on that release. He recorded this song a few times...in different settings but this is the version that reflects everything this man was about. There is a blues collection out on him that contains that version of the song. That one alone is worth the purchase of the CD. To hear the jazz influence in Mitchell's playing that's the track and you can definitely hear Jimi's jazz influence although he was mainly a blues player. The "Red House" track on "West" is just as amazing in a different way.

  Miles never did play with Jimi as I understand it but they were planning on it. Miles did love him even though Jimi was having an affair with his wife (Backseat Betty). So I guess you can call it a love/hate relationship. I truly believe this appreciation led to Miles' thinking with the fusion direction. 

  Jae Sinnett  


  > -----Original Message-----
  > On Behalf Of jazzrockworld
  > Subject: [JPL] Zawinul, Cannonball & the Panthers
  > I heard the same thing about Miles [should be] replacing McLaughlin back
  > then, with a similar response. 
  > 
  > PG:
  > Yeah, but Miles had already taken shit for hiring Bill Evans...
  > 
  > Jazzrockworld:
  > There's probably some history with Jimi Hendrix and the Experience along
  > the
  > same lines, which may have led to the Band of Gypsys line-up (just
  > guessing). 


  I don't recall which film right now but in one of the films I've seen on 
  Hendrix they claim he was questioned by some more militant members of 
  the African American community for having white band members. I can't 
  recall if it was the Panthers or someone else.


  > PG:
  > Nah, Hendrix put the "Experience" band together when he was living in
  > London. There were problems, apparently, from the get-go - Noel Redding
  > was a guitarist, not a bassist, and although the gig was probably the
  > only thing we'll ever really remember him for, he wanted to be more in
  > the limelight - out front - in other words. Although they made some very
  > forward recordings for that time, both Redding and Mitchell were
  > dissatisfied that they didn't have more of a role in the direction of
  > the group.

  I always liked Mitch Mitchell's playing. He even talked about his love 
  of Elvin Jones.

  > 
  > Jimi had played with lots of black musicians before leaving the states
  > for his stay in England, when he put The Experience together. You can

  I have lps by Hendrix with Little Richard, The Isley Brothers, Curtis 
  Knight, Lonnie Youngblood and others.


  > see in the later recordings that he was doing a return to roots kind of
  > thing - focusing on the blues, in particular. Electric Ladyland is
  > Jimi's "White Album" in many respects, where you can see him exploring
  > more of his interests (beyond the psychedelic sound), and the blues
  > plays really heavy on that album. It's the last recording he did with
  > The JH Experience. He built his studio (Electric Ladyland) and just
  > started inviting everyone he knew over for sessions...that's how that
  > album came together...the material on it is half Experience, half jam
  > sessions...

  I also have an interesting Hendrix jam on lp. He's playing with a flute 
  player, a conga player and some sort of electric keyboard. Very 
  different music than what was commercially released.

  > 
  > It seems clear to me that if he had lived longer, he would have returned
  > to more experimental sounds. And it is well documented that Miles wanted
  > to bring Jimi into the band - I think they did do some jamming together
  > (right? - I've read a few of those Miles biographies/autobiographies,
  > and I can't remember the details, apart from Miles believing that Jimi
  > was "the greatest guitarist alive"). It's too bad (for so many reasons)
  > that he didn't live longer. I wonder what Bitches Brew would have
  > sounded like with Jimi on it...I'm obviously not the first person to
  > wonder such things.

  I'm not sure if Miles and Hendrix ever did get to play together. I 
  didn't think they did. I have also heard rumors of Hendrix and Rahsaan 
  Roland Kirk jamming. Although I haven't heard it in a long time, I have 
  a tape of a lengthly jam session with Hendrix and John McLaughlin.

  Eric Jackson
  Mon - Thurs 8 pm - mid.
  89.7 FM WGBH Boston
  www.wgbh.org/jazz


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