Nov 3 2010

It’s hard to imagine, from today’s vantage point, what popular music might sound like had there never been a Jimi Hendrix. The entire paradigm of blues-based rock soloing as we now understand it would not exist. Hendrix was not some mere blues-rock fusion artist hell-bent on showing off his chops, of course. He was a supremely gifted composer and songwriter, a man able to imbue the psychedelic music of the ’60s with a seriously deep African-American strain, and journeyman R&B guitarist, all rolled into one.

It was this totality — not merely the guitar-burning, playing-with-his-teeth “Star Spangled Banner” alchemizing icon you’ll find emblazoned across the front of high school kids’ T-shirts to this day—that a stellar cast of musicians celebrated in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts on Tuesday. The show was a quick sellout, to the point where a second show by the same ensemble has been added for Nov. 15. The crowd seemed flabbergasted by the quality of talent flaunted before it, as well as the timeless nature of Hendrix’s music itself. The nearly three-hour show moved from peak to peak, as varying configurations of musicians gathered to explore the Hendrix canon.

Read more at The Buffalo News.