Jimi Hendrix more so than any other guitarist that comes to mind was the living embodiment of the blues. Everything Hendrix played or composed would have a smoldering blues base and the release of People, Hell and Angels is a controlled burn.
Feeling. Touch. Soul
The three words that immediately come to mind upon first spin of what pre dates the final incarnation of arguably the best band Hendrix put together in Band of Gypsys. Eddie Kramer does a mind blowing job in putting the pieces together on these sessions which date back to 1968 and 1969. The idea for this release was not drawn up in a corporate board room. This was an idea Jimi Hendrix had but sadly was not around long enough to see come full circle. Fans and critics continue to argue greatest guitarist of all time. Is greatness measured purely from sales and longevity or does the influence on other artists play any significant part in evaluating talent with the tag of "Best Guitarist" ever. Hendrix himself is on record stating he never considered or held himself in the same light that both the press and fans do to this day. Self indulgence at least from a purely musical perspective was never an issue for Hendrix who continues to be the poster child on what artistic freedom and creativity is all about and his influence on everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughn to John McLaughlin is undeniable.
Several tracks on this release have seen the light of day in various forms whether re-recorded or in live shows. People, Hell and Angels has the distinct feeling of a live studio jam where the freedom to conduct his own blues exploratory was allowed to run wild and with staggering results. These thirty year old tracks could have been recorded yesterday. For those that appreciate the heavier blues based Hendrix, People, Hell and Angels is an absolute must.
I have often said one does not review genius they honor it. Such is the case with Jimi Hendrix.
Tracks: Earth Blues; Somewhere; Hear My Train A Comin'; Bleeding Heart; Let Me Move You; Izabella; Easy Blues; Crash Landing; Hey Gypsy Boy; Mojo Man; Villanova Junction Blues.
Personnel: Jimi Hendrix: guitar and vocals; Buddy Miles: drums; Mitch Mitchell: drums; Rocky Isaac: drums; Billy Cox: bass; Stephen Stills: bass; Albert & Arthur Allen (The Ghetto Fighters): vocals.