Released this week, West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology is a revelation, a classy box set with 4 CDs and a DVD documentary that chronologically details the short but unparalleled career of the greatest electric guitarist of all time. (CD1 contains Jimi's sideman recordings with various soul artists.) MOJO spoke to engineer Eddie Kramer, who co-produced the new set with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott, by phone from his Los Angeles home.
Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings have just released the deluxe edition of 'West Coast Seattle Boy-The Jimi Hendrix Anthology.' A five-disc set, it contains one DVD and four CD's, featuring a full four hours of rare and unreleased tracks.
These include 45 previously unreleased Hendrix concert and studio recordings, some of which are demos, outtakes, and alternate versions of tracks from 'Are You Experienced,' 'Axis: Bold As Love,' and 'Electric Ladyland.' A superlative set, it is arguably the most extensive, if not the most historically punctuated Hendrix release to be issue in some time.
4 1/2 stars
For Jimi Hendrix fanatics, the selling point of this four-disc set is a full CD of songs on which the guitarist doesn't sing lead and barely solos. Instead, he plays sideman to Little Richard, Don Covay and others on 15 R&B smokers. The tracks offer glimpses of a prodigy straining at the bit: The hot-shit solo on the Isley Brothers' 1964 "Testify," all of 10 seconds long, is like an early Marlon Brando screen test, coiled drama springing to life; the reverb-soaked, Curtis Mayfield-style licks on the Icemen's sublime 1966 "(My Girl) She's a Fox" offer a taste of the exploded soul magic Hendrix cooked up later on "Castles Made of Sand."