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Jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters

Hiromi Uehara — Alive and Kicking Popular Jazz Artists Jimi Hendrix and jazz Since his death the influence of Jimi Hendrix's music and the general fascination with his celebrity has grown year on year. But how did Hendrix influence jazz? Keith Shadwick takes a close look at the Hendrix legacy. He was not the first to win it posthumously on a wave of sympathy in the year of his death — Eric Dolphy had in 1964, to the unfeigned distaste of the traditionalists, and Wes Montgomery again in 1968 — but he was the first non-jazz musician to do so.

Two questions emerge from this rather odd juxtaposition: This goes to the heart of Hendrix's position in popular music. It is only in hindsight that we can look at such a result and say that it is entirely appropriate, given the enormous influence Hendrix and his musical ideas had on the subsequent development of not just jazz-rock and fusion, but all of jazz.

For, like other musical titans, he brought to the music a helping of ideas that could be used by everybody.

  • Jimi was writing material with his producer and manager, Chas Chandler;
  • On the title track McLaughlin double-tracks two solos in Hendrix fashion across a two-chord vamp, achieving a fine and heady musical effervescence of the type Hendrix had managed himself effortlessly in the past, but at that time was struggling to replicate in the studio.

Thinking of Hendrix at the position he was in at his death, and of the musical scene he was central to, there is little overt connection with contemporaneous jazz, apart from the embryonic jazz-rock scenes in NYC and London. After all, Hendrix had built his entire musical vocabulary squarely on the solid foundations of the blues, not on blues and the standard song, which is where post-war jazz usually makes its entrance in a musician's consciousness. The closest jazz approached Hendrix's entry point was with the ubiquitous early-60s organ-guitar-drums trios on the Chitlin circuit.

Where Hendrix had mapped out his territory was as the baddest guitarist in rock: In all the fuss generated by his songs, his lyrics, his stage act and his general anti-establishment stance, there was little time for the majority of onlookers to wonder about jazz tie-ins. But they were there from the first album Hendrix released under his own name, Are You Experienced?

This obsession was long-standing but had most likely been encouraged to take its particular form on this track by Jimi's combination of fantasy films and novels with the sorts of extended improvisations that were common on the New York jazz scene he was living amongst prior to his relocation to London.

Being Hendrix, of course he developed it in his own unique way the instrumental theme sounds like nothing so much as a supercharged Jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters surf melodyinstructing bassist Noel Redding to stick to a very basic three-note riff throughout the long improvisatory section — a device that beds the whole performance, unites it and keeps it within what was then defined as a rock ambit, rather than taking the approach Cream was starting to develop where Jack Bruce often took more adventurous bass lines in collective passages with Clapton and Baker than Clapton — always and forever primarily a blues player — was willing to go for.

  • It is a sound that invites a heightened sensual response, negotiating power and intimacy through the circulation of desire;
  • Performing Arts Journal Publication.

The majority of Hendrix's improvisations on this track use the guitar not so much as a solo instrument in the jazz tradition of single-note lines or even chorded passages, but as a source of sound.

Using and moulding an array of jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters techniques, Hendrix constructs a wild soundscape that bounces off and comes up in between all the other elements on the track, including his distorted spoken word passages. That this is a good trip rather than a nightmare is made clear in the humour the words contain — especially the allusion to surf music. The track concludes in a conflagration of sound that has no precedent in rock but whose violence and shrieks can be heard as a translation of the wild sounds prevalent in New York City avant-garde jazz circles from 1964 to the end of the decade.

On the original 1967 LP release the savagery of this passage's attack was mitigated by Hendrix's fading up and down of the music track so as to deliver the occasional laconic spoken line. Its exuberant intensity is overwhelming, jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters musical invention remains as fresh as the day it was played.

The Experience was outstripping everybody else out there in doing what was done on these tracks. This was a fantastic position to be in, and one that even the most popular jazz musicians of the day — Miles Davis or John Coltrane — could only dream of. As for jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters likes of Albert Ayler and those who populated the avant-garde in his wake, their musical stature seemed to be reflected only in inverse proportion by popular acceptance or approval.

What is interesting about all this interlinking of music and day-to-day careers is that, while Hendrix quite likely felt the green light for his own casting off of the musical chains through his checking out of the wilder shores of jazz at this time, no-one in the jazz scene quite knew how to deal with what Hendrix was laying down. It would be years before his message was digested and re-interpreted in a coherent way by the jazz firmament.

And after all, Hendrix himself had to leave the US to get a deal that would for the first time allow him to front a band and express himself to appreciative audiences. If this was the case, the next set of tunes that appeared on Axis: Bold As Love showed that Hendrix was by no means limited to one contact point with jazz and jazz-based music. But the guitar treatment from Hendrix, though intensely bluesy and using a wah-wah pedal on obbligato overdubs, shows a subtle awareness of modern jazz guitar techniques, especially those of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, and what he plays on this track, whether lead or rhythm, adds up to a great deal more than mere pastiche: The Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell connections were to remain in place for the rest of Hendrix's short career, especially those with Montgomery, whose octave-picking style was one Hendrix, with his large hands and long fingers, could emulate with nonchalant ease as and when he required it.

This piece uses the relatively novel idea at that time of a sequential composition in a loose A-B-A-B form whereby the repeats of A and B are radically redefined. The initial part of the song, in its elements, is related to a simple slow boogie line in the John Lee Hooker tradition, made different by its arrangement, especially the drum part, while the first solo, a wildly lyrical one based on scales with no reference to blues intervals or inflections, finds Mitchell double-timing in jazz fashion, delivering a swaggering beat not far removed from his jazz hero Elvin Jones.

This music hit rock musicians and fans hard at the time, ushering in a new and exciting era of improvisatory experimentalism. On the jazz side of the culture, however, the sounds Hendrix was making were shaking up a lot of people. Rock had been feeding into mainstream jazz since the advent in America of The Beatles, when everyone in the universe began doing cover versions, from Count Basie to Ella Fitzgerald and beyond.

Younger players and arrangers used this new music in more imaginative ways and looked further afield, so that by 1965-66 songs by Bob Dylan and other cutting-edge rock performers were beginning to turn up regularly on jazz records, from Roger Kellaway and Oliver Nelson to Gary McFarland, Gary Burton and beyond.

That same year Burton formed a pianoless quartet with Seattle guitarist Larry Coryell, by then a young veteran along with Charles Lloyd and Gabor Szabo, of Chico Hamilton's genre-crossing bands providing a sensibility that straddled both rock and jazz in his playing and approach. Some people — Clark Terry, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane included — began to investigate the short-lived Varitone device that debuted in 1966 and could take a horn's signal and convert it into electrically generated octaves or other intervals, running parallel to the player's improvisations.

Hendrix's advent threw down the gauntlet, not just to these bands and others like them, young but capable of winning popularity polls as Charles Lloyd along with band members Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette and Burton showed during 1967, but to the people in bands like that of Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley. Miles later in life talked a lot about the influence of James Brown on his thinking as he moved from the ascetic purity of his last great acoustic quintet to the earthier and more formally uncluttered music-making of his first electric period, from Filles de Kilimanjaro through to Bitches Brew, but it is Hendrix who supplies the bridge between the two.

Listen to 'Little Miss Lover' on Axis. The funky guitar-bass riff that underpins the rhythm and the harmony jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters the verse has strong Brown funk overtones, but its re-casting as a slightly loopy, lopsided rock riff balancing in and around Mitch Mitchell's subtle patterns, where he goes for odd rhythmic stresses rather than the obvious ones, makes it a pattern with endless possibilities when put in a more open-ended musical environment. Play this track then think of Miles soloing over it.

With 1968 Hendrix moved into his most ambitious period of creativity in the studio performing live, he was still for the most part sticking to a tight song list and power-packed short sets with the Jimi Hendrix Experience that featured his explosive guitar playing but kept it within a clearly defined structure. A quick reference to the many recordings for the BBC or some of the concert performances from 1967-68 affirms this.

Jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters

The instrumental tune 'Cherokee Mist' was first tried out in early 1968 and repeatedly returned to until the end of his life it was included as a title scheduled to be part of the studio album that lay unfinished at his death.

A 1970 version has been officially released but it bears little resemblance to the raw, extreme May 1968 debut studio attempt where Hendrix, with just Mitch Mitchell in attendance, creates a stark yet wistful Hollywood-type-lndian theme, then drowns it in the most screaming, intense feedback. That same day in Record Plant, Hendrix tried something entirely different, and again it lay unreleased, this time until the late 1990s. Hendrix's guitar overdubs feature Montgomery-style octave passages as well as Steve Cropper-type scratchy funk, but the most unusual feature of the track is an overdubbed brass section of two trumpets and two saxes, arranged by Larry Fallon.

  • Thinking of Hendrix at the position he was in at his death, and of the musical scene he was central to, there is little overt connection with contemporaneous jazz, apart from the embryonic jazz-rock scenes in NYC and London;
  • Based in New York for the most part when he was not touring with a now-disintegrating Experience Noel Redding was to play his last gig with Hendrix in June and also having to deal with the consequences of a drug bust in Toronto in late spring, Hendrix largely dried up in terms of new material and seemed to be casting about for directions as the crowd around him changed;
  • It would be years before his message was digested and re-interpreted in a coherent way by the jazz firmament;
  • The fact that the jam ever happened was much more important for the history of the music than the quality of the music recorded, partly due to what McLaughlin himself was about to achieve, whether with Miles Davis and Tony Williams' LifeTime or under his own name;
  • Then he plugged in and we were off to the races!
  • Grosz and Probyn, 1995:

The basic rhythm track of this piece is unco-ordinated and it is easy to see why it was shelved at the time, but it shows Hendrix trying to find a bridge to a wholly instrumental approach via some of the basic techniques of jazz. Considering the later talk of his wanting to make a record with Gil Evans, this blueprint is a fascinating foretaste.

It is a tightly arranged track with no less than four guitar lines running through its series of rhythmic and harmonic segues. It again looks to the models of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell in terms of the treatment of the melody and arrangement. This time, though, Hendrix is taking on the organ accompaniment role there is one guitar track that so closely imitates an organ being played through a Leslie speaker that it takes a minute of close listening to establish that in fact it is a guitar.

The expanded palette of sounds also suggest he jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters trying to re-create the type of orchestral accompaniment Oliver Nelson and other arrangers were regularly creating as suitable vehicle for their star soloists.

The funk backbeat of Miles aside, the opening bars could almost be from a Stanley Turrentine-Jimmy Smith jam of the early or mid-60s. This particular jam was important because it reached out past where anyone else had got to in terms of blending the latest rock sounds and trends with the jazz-funk approach. Previous bands and artists had applied horns and organ to more traditional forms of blues and funk — Paul Butterfield and the whole Stax brigade, for example — while jazz players developing this stylistic vein were still very wary about turning up the volume on the guitarist's amp or even featuring the guitar beyond a strictly accompanist's role, even when groove merchant organists such as Jack McDuff were involved.

To find such supercharged playing in a jazz context in 1967-68 it was still necessary to turn to the New York avant-garde, at this point adjusting to the devastating loss of its mentor John Coltrane and looking for alternatives.

Jimi Hendrix in London, 1966

Sonny Sharrock, playing with both Herbie Mann and Pharoah Sanders, was at that time cutting up rough in jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters that diverge from what Hendrix was up to. Sharrock was recording in bands during this period that were exploiting the benefits of riffs and ostinato patterns as the backbone of improvised performances.

Only the chitlin end of the jazz scene — and the funk-jazz merchants like Eddie Harris, Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley — were using these patterns in creative and fresh ways, but none of these bands used guitarists prominently.

Mann did, however, often in the bass lines or percussion section, and sometimes in other backing instruments as well.

Mann's best-selling Memphis Underground, recorded in Memphis in August 1968, was an example of how jazz musicians could use the most exciting elements of the new music around them in an instrumental setting with very strong jazz underpinning. He used Memphis musicians for a groove on which to graft jazz solos. The two guitar soloists on that date were Sonny Sharrock and Larry Coryell.

Both men, but most especially Coryell, show a heavy awareness of what Hendrix was doing at that time. Although its basic form included a melody line and vocals against a steady, if slow, beat, Hendrix had extended sections in free time, using washes of sound years before ECM, New Age and synthesisers made such ideas commonplace, but interweaving quicksilver lines of improvisation from both his own guitar and from the flute of Traffic's Chris Wood.

Wood was no technician and his contributions tend to be basic, but his presence helps spread the music far from the shores of mainstream rock. This track ate up a whole side of the original vinyl LP and was a major statement of intent from the guitarist, whose usage on this track of intervals and scales found in Indian music may have been very much something of that period, but they were still of surpassing melodic beauty.

Though still couched in the stylistic terms of the great Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams quintet, these two pieces hinted at a shift in his focus towards more open-ended music that had a steady metric flow dominated by the type of beat found in rock and soul.

Certainly John McLaughlin, the guitarist Miles chose to play a key role in proceedings and newly arrived in New York to play with Tony Williams' new band, LifeTime, was about the nearest thing in jazz to Hendrix at that time. He was not a guitarist hung up on trying to negotiate the crosstown traffic of the bebop changes Miles had left far behind a decade previously. It is ironic that, as the fires of electricity-fed jazz fusion were being lit partly through his trailblazing example, Hendrix for the first time in his latter-day career experienced a slow-down in creative and performing output.

Although very beautiful in places it sounds incomplete and very much like another introductory piece, possibly to the next album that was at one time tentatively titled by Hendrix The First Rays of the New Rising Sun. But it is retrospective rather than forward-looking, and as such is something of a first for the guitarist. The downturn in productivity continued as he stuttered through a largely unproductive 12 months in 1969.

Based in New York for the most part when he was not touring with a now-disintegrating Experience Noel Redding was to play his last gig with Hendrix in June and also having to deal with the consequences of a drug bust in Toronto in late spring, Hendrix largely dried up in terms of new material and seemed to be casting about for directions as the crowd around him changed.

Some of these players came and went quickly while others made a more telling impact. Saxophonist Sam Rivers remembers being pulled in to play on a Hendrix session, but can today jimi hendrixs journal entries on his encounters no precise details. This is probably a case of hindsight rather than realism, especially when the words of those who actually took part are considered. McLaughlin has consistently stated that the session he shared with Hendrix was an unstructured jam, that McLaughlin himself was on acoustic guitar, and that the music was inconsequential.

The GRAMMYs

The fact that the jam ever happened was much more important for the history of the music than the quality of the music recorded, partly due to what McLaughlin himself was about to achieve, whether with Miles Davis and Tony Williams' LifeTime or under his own name. Dealing with the actual hard evidence of cross-fertilisation is interesting, for at around the same time as the jam happened, McLaughlin was recording his album Devotion for Douglas Records, with Buddy Miles and Larry Young providing backing.

On the title track McLaughlin double-tracks two solos in Hendrix fashion across a two-chord vamp, achieving a fine and heady musical effervescence of the type Hendrix had managed himself effortlessly in the past, but at that time was struggling to replicate in the studio.

The mix was explosive but the settled and consistently inventive music McLaughlin managed on Devotion suggests that the balance was better struck in his studio band. Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell are on record as claiming that they would have welcomed the opportunity to expand the Experience into a quartet with an organist, the most popular candidate consistently being Steve Winwood.

LifeTime had that line-up, and the wildfire excitement of their music shows that Hendrix was sound in his instincts. By the time Hendrix and McLaughlin met in a New York studio he was bogged down in the studio, unable to formulate coherent new ideas for the Experience.

Within a month Hendrix also appeared in the same studios with Larry Young. Hendrix is intent on taking it easy and enjoying the contribution of his colleagues rather than trying for anything spectacular, easing his way into the combination.

  1. Emily Garland can be reached at emily. But they were there from the first album Hendrix released under his own name, Are You Experienced?
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  3. It again looks to the models of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell in terms of the treatment of the melody and arrangement. Track 2 thus works like a touch-stone.

A little later things were put on a more formal basis when they agreed to record with Hendrix and both Columbia and Reprise came to an arrangement about the upcoming session. Though no-one knew it then, the chance was gone forever.

Jimi Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Drummer Barry Altschul, for example, was one of the day-guests and took advantage of his visit to introduce the type of metre-free time-keeping he'd perfected while in Paul Bley's group. If ever there was a jamming band it was this one: With a rhythm team behind him solely focusing on keeping as tight a grip on the constant in-the-pocket beat as possible, Hendrix was freed up to play as his muse took him.

As the New Year's Eve Concert at Fillmore East testifies, this could lead into passages of little activity and the occasional concentration on stage antics, but it could also allow Hendrix to build up a colossal creative head of steam.