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REQUIRED LISTENING: a musician's personal notes about favorite artists.

First Rays of the New Rising Sun.
This CD is made up of songs from Cry of Love, the last album Jimi recorded before his death in 1970, along with some other tracks that he was working on around that time. Cry of Love has long been a favorite of mine because it shows a more refined Jimi Hendrix -- someone that clearly could have been a force as long as he wanted to be. It's hard for me, someone who wasn't around when this stuff was recorded, to appreciate how many walls Hendrix brought down with his music. His musical language will always be fresh, as evidenced in "Drifting," "Night Bird Flying," "Freedom," "Angel" and "My Friend." These tracks show us a man who got the MOST out of his soul, his fingers, his head, his cojones and who pushed the limits of the technology (of the time). Carlos Santana described Jimi's music as if someone from Mars was playing the blues. However Hendrix arrived at his vision, it was an incredible four years that leaves us with the question: what would he have done had he survived? For me, First Rays of the New Rising Sun represents some of Jimi's most under appreciated work.

posted: July 2004.


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