Friday, November 08, 2013

Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A Comin (Legacy, 2013)

The Jimi Hendrix documentary Hear My Train A Comin' does as well as can be reasonably expected in concentrating the great guitarist's life into the space of two hours. It traces his life, quickly moving through his childhood and short hitch in the army into his dues paying years working the "chitlin circuit" as a sideman for a number of rhythm and blues performers. "Discovered" by the Animals bassist Chas Chandler, he is bundled off to England where his meteoric rise begins in full. He began to attend jam sessions in London, picking up momentum as he gained approval of luminaries like Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and other movers and shakers on the rock and roll scene. Developing his most famous band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix would soon reach heights few musicians of any genre would ascend to. There is some really great footage of their American breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival culminating in Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire and then kneeling before it like a shaman. Later important gigs are chronicled like the performance at Woodstock with a larger ad hoc band that produced his extraordinary version of "The Star Spangled Banner." Behind the scenes, the film chronicles his obsession with recording, one which was aided and abetted by the building of his own studio, Electric Lady. Much of the commentary is taken from a black and white interview of Hendrix in repose as well as a revealing conversation from the Dick Cavett show. Friends and fellow musicians round out the profile of a supremely gifted man obsessed with music and always looking over the horizon for new things to come. Hear My Train A Comin' -

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