MOG Post: 09/18/2007
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Album: Nine To The Universe
Track: Nine To The Universe
1980 Reprise Records
Here are some late, great, creative juices for your ears - a nice audio spectrum from Jimi Hendrix' luscious guitar palette and virtuoso hands. Underscored by Jimi's studio man Alan Douglas, I think this title cut is ultimately the most pure jamming session - and my favorite from the L.P. record. I love the progression the song goes through and the amazing control of Stratocastor and the sound Jimi wrenches from it. I busted to get this vinyl copy of the album in my collection because the clarity had long since worn out on my cassette. Sadly - Nine To The Universe has not yet been released on CD! Let me just type for you from the phenomenal Joe Robinson and Gene Sculatti review (on the back of this here 12 3/8" cardboard sleeve):
"... He had outraged, menaced, seduced, evoked a generation. In three years. He'd done Monterey, Woodstock, the Isle of Wight, Johnny Carson. And in the translation from musician to pop deity he was feeling increasingly hemmed in. He couldn't take one more "Foxy Lady."
And so it was that he wound up on a very different stage in 1969, in a swank jazz club in London's West End, Ronnie Scott's. Known as the place for jazz in London by those who have the money to get in it, Ronnie Scott's was at least several light shows from the circuit the rock-guitarist had begun three years prior right down to the rain-slicked streets in Soho.
But, true to form, Hendrix had chosen the perfect traveler with whom to clearly state his growing interest in jazz, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The late Kirk, who could play three instruments at once and was every bit the innovator in his realm that Hendrix was in his. They hit it off. They planned to record together, but Hendrix didn't live to see it out.
When Hendrix went back to the Record Plant in New York he continued to complain about the restrictions, contractual and managerial, that kept him from stretching out beyond pop confines. Despite the pressures he couldn't deny his own evolution, which was leading inevitably to an embryonic fusion of jazz and rock.
The sparks of fusion were already cracking through the Record Plant. John McLaughlin, who had switched to electric guitar with a vengeance, would often drop by to trade notes with Hendrix. Larry Young and Tony Williams were frequent guests. Miles Davis, whose music guided all of these players - and was a Hendrix favorite - was an important visitor.
In many ways, it was no surprise when Hendrix changed personnel in the spring of 1969, recruiting army buddy Billy Cox on bass and drummer Buddy Miles. In between sessions for his last pop album, Hendrix jammed with his new band and his many visitors, thus creating the music that now makes up Nine To The Universe.
... If Hendrix had become restless within the confines of his public role as evidence indicates, this set gives indication of some of the specific directions he wanted to take.
Planned recordings with Kirk, Gil Evans and other jazz luminaries offer prospects of even more imaginative Hendrix music, music which, sadly, we can only speculate about."
Recorded 5/29/69 - Record Plant, N.Y.
Jimi Hendrix - Guitar
Billy Cox - Bass
Buddy Miles - Drums