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."
The long-awaited career-spanning box set, featuring more than four hours of rare and previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix music in a five disc (4 CD+1 DVD) deluxe box set is available today!