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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Hear My Music' (Record Store Day 2LP Vinyl)
Artist - Jimi Hendrix

To be greeted at the office door by the mail lady carrying this wondrous, prized, and soon-to-be cherished, brand new and limited edition Jimi Hendrix double vinyl LP set, was, well, soul lifting, that's for sure.

Hear My Music is a two vinyl LP collection of rare instrumental studio recordings made by the guitar legend gone-too-soon. Released this past November 28th, 2014 as part of the Record Store Day's Annual Black Friday event, Hear My Music's instrumentals are much more than just Hendrix riffing. Much more, because what we have here are recordings that have already been noted as being his "creative explorations."

Hear My Music is, simply put, incredible. Whether you are a true Hendrix fan, a passerby to his music, or someone still on the fence after all these years about his creative genius, this delicious double album of 11 tracks - which Hendrix's sister, Janie Hendrix produced with engineer Eddie Kramer and Hendrix expert John McDermott - is a true must-have for all those still in possession of a record player!

The 11 tracks - all released here in their original, unedited formats that they were recorded in - start with 'Slow Version' (Olympic Studios, London, February 14, 1969) which is backed by a simply stunning wah-wah electric guitar speed blitz on 'Drone Blues.' Quite possibly, for today, at any juncture, my favorite track on the double album, it bleeds Hendrix's unique funk state of fusion, jazz, and blues in perfect harmony. 'Blues Jam at Olympic' rounds out Side A on the first vinyl LP, with Side B containing just the one, elongated jam fest, 'Jimi'/'Jimmy Jam.' Both originally came out on the now out-of-print 1980 release, Nine to the Universe, but melded together here they come across as brothers lost in arms, for sure.

Hear My Music, which was originally released in 2004 on CD, continues onwards with Side C, the second vinyl in the set, and the deadly duo of 'Ezy Ryder'/'Star Spangled Banner.' Now, I've only ever known the now-infamous version of this track, which this most certainly isn't! An early, rough cut, a winding, unknowing version, it shows Hendrix worked long and hard on the final version that he presented to the gathering at Woodstock.

They are both then backed by the scorchingly distorted guitar powerhaus of blues, 'Trash Man' (Olmstead Studios, New York, April 3, 1969). Newly pressed on 200-gram audiophile vinyl for this release, these tracks - which originally featured the extensive counter work from The Experience, Band Of Gypsies bass-man Billy Cox, and various other musicians he encountered on his blistering rise to fame - sound so clear, so perfect.

Side D, from the second LP in the set, contains the most tracks, five (5) in all, and begins with 'Jam 292,' which is followed by both 'Message To Love' and then 'Gypsy Blood.' Both the tracks are single layered in the respect that Hendrix obviously just wanted to fend for himself on them both. Both are stunning works of solo art, and both stand alone as songs that could have easily been singles in their own rights. That said, putting lyrics to them both would have propelled them both high into the annals of chart history, one can only assume.

Closing out Side D on the second vinyl LP are two vastly differing versions to each other of the same track: 'Valleys of Neptune.' The first one is a guitar only version, whilst the latter one, the one that closes the double album down, is a piano only track. His guitar playing is renowned, for sure, but his piano playing was understated. Also accompanied, on various tracks throughout, by Rocky Isaac, Al Marks, Roland Robinson, Jim McCarty, and Sharon Layne, Hear My Music is a real gem of a collection of instrumental music to behold.

Important Stats:

★ Two LP set featuring unreleased studio recordings from 1969
★ Authorized Jimi Hendrix ‘bootleg’ issued by Dagger Records
★ Individually Numbered
★ 200 gram audiophile vinyl pressed by QRP