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Check It Out

Check It Out!: May 24, 2013

Jimi Hendrix —

People, Hell and Angels 

(Experience Hendrix)

Arguably one of the greatest and most innovative guitarists of all times, Jimi Hendrix generated a tidal wave of influence to generations of artists that followed in his wake. And while only three full studio albums were released during the brief four years he enjoyed mainstream success, Hendrix’s posthumous canon wound up being four times as large and of varying quality.

These dozen songs represent the roots of the never completed First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the double-album follow-up to Hendrix’s 1968 masterpiece Electric Ladyland. Among the highlights are “Somewhere,” a loping slice of acid rock drenched in wah-wah riffing and featuring Stephen Stills on bass that also includes one of the guitarist’s sweeter and cleaner solos. Buddy Miles and Billy Cox form the bedrock rhythm section for “Hear My Train A Comin’,” which despite its hard rock attack has a blues base to it, indicating the direction Hendrix might have taken the genre. Look no further than a reading of Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” that’s included here that is far subtler than “Train” but no less potent.

Elsewhere, “Let Me Move You,” an R&B rave-up with saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood that hearkens back to Hendrix’s days on the chitlin’ circuit backing up the likes of The Isley Brothers and Little Richard. Equally funky is “Mojo Man,” a very Sly Stone-ish jam featuring longtime friend Albert Allen on vocals, James Booker on piano and horns that perfectly compliment the Seattle native’s riffing. And while the force the guitarist could play with was a trademark, Hendrix showed he was just as effective employing a lighter hand, whether it on the original recording of the hypnotic “Hey Gypsy Boy” (later posthumously released as an overdubbed version on Crash Landing.) Most impressive is the cleanly-played and unfinished instrumental “Villanova Junction Blues” that closes out the record and “Easy Blues,” one of two songs here (“Izabella” being the other) featuring Hendrix playing with Gyspy Sun & Rainbows, the band he played with at Woodstock rounded out by Cox, Mitch Mitchell, Juma Sultan, Jerry Velez and Larry Lee. Far from being some kind of Southside Chicago workout, “Easy Blues” is actually a swinging jazz instrumental that showcases yet another example of the Hendrix versatility that makes his death all the more regretful four-plus decades later.

May 23

Colbie Caillat/Vicci Martinez @ The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., 8 p.m. $37.50, $32.50, $29.50. 631-673-7300

Despite being only 27 years old, Colbie Caillat has made quite a name for herself despite being rejected by American Idol as an unknown singer. She’s collaborated with Taylor Swift, won Grammys and even played Leslie Gore on the defunct NBC series The Playboy Club.