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Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix by Various Artists

Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix is a tribute to the late guitar genius organized by his estate and designed to emphasize the funk, R&B and blues aspects of his playing. The disc features several of his most famous pieces as reimagined by his disparate musical heirs and survivors. Notable names among the former include Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Earth, Wind and Fire; in the latter group are such legends as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Bootsy Collins with George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, who perform the title cut. A handful of the tracks, such as John Lee Hooker's version of "Red House," are anthologized from other releases, while the others are either new recordings or, in some cases, previously unreleased recordings from the vaults. A couple of tracks of commentary from Jimi's father Al are included as well.

Among the standout tracks are Santana's version of "Spanish Castle Magic," recorded by Hendrix's own engineer Eddie Kramer at Electric Lady Studios, a pile-driving arrangement featuring the rhythm dream team of Stanley Clarke on bass on the late, great Tony Williams on drums. If you've forgotten how good that guy was, just listen to him play here. Prince and ex-Family Stone bassist Larry Graham cleverly repaint a classic Hendrix blues as "Purple House." John McLaughlin's meticulous rhythm playing and ingenious solo on "The Wind Cries Mary" is enough to make you look past Sting's egregious vocal turn, while the late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan's legion of fans will enjoy the live medley of "Little Wing" and "3rd Stone from the Sun" dug out of the archives of the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show.

Power of Soul is an anthology of performances that are inspired to a one. Tribute albums are usually uneven and, while I do have my favorites, this collection is exceptional in that even artists that I am normally indifferent to deliver performances worthy of consideration here. A very fitting tribute to an artist whose legacy seems to grow larger every year.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Image Entertainment
  • Rating: Four Stars
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