The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama on November 22, 1975 · Page 7
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The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama · Page 7

Anniston, Alabama
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 22, 1975
Page 7
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Midnight Lightning' P-7 THE STAR, MUSIC Nov. 22, 1975 Posthumous Hendrix album coming By LARRY ROHTER Special To The Star-Washington Post WASHINGTON - Boiled down to its simplest form, the recording of rock (music) usually goes something like this: A group of musicians get an idea for a song and sit down to work it out. They go into a studio to record it and, either separately or together, lay down the basic instrumental tracks that are needed. Afterwards, supplemental tracks and special effects are added on ("overdubbed" ) to flesh out the piece. The producer and engineer oversee the recording and later mix it down, which ends the creative part of the process. But what do you do when the leader of your session is probably the greatest rock guitarist who ever played the instrument and he's been dead five 'years? That's, the. problem" that producer Tony Bongiovi and the engineers and musicians at Track Recorders in Silver Spring, Spring, Md., have faced in trying to refine Jimi Hendrix's brilliant but sometimes rambling unreleased studio takes into posthumous album form. For several months now Hendrix's legacy of thousands of hours of tape has been listened to there, pored over, edited and augmented. For Hendrix and his compatriots, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, the combination of their onstage shenanigans with the premature deaths of all three from intoxicant overdoses made them symbols of a tempestuous age. But the special value of the Hendrix tapes is his rich, inventive music, what seems in retrospect the legacy that places him a notch above those contemporaries. , "It's the hardest project I've ever had to do in my life," says Bogiovi, who engineered many of the sessions that resulted in "Electric Ladyland," Hendrix's 1968 masterpiece, and has produced or engineered albums by Mountain, The Isley Brothers, Vanilla Fudge and Gloria Gaynor. "The first album we did like this ("Crash Landing," released earlier this year) was tough, but this second one, maaaaaan, we spent twice as much time on it. I'll bet we spent close to $100,000 to put it together." A MAJOR PROBLEM has been just sorting out the material Hendrix left. "There's at least 3,000 hours of tape, maybe even 3,500," says the slight, quick-speaking Bogiovi. "I haven't even heard all of it yet, though my partner Alan Douglas has. He locked himself into a studio in Stockbridge, Mass., after the tapes were shipped up and did that. "There's some amazing stuff, but it's scattered all over. Jimi would begin a song, drop it and go on to something else and sometimes return to it as much as a year later. And we have an album of Hendrix with Johnny McLaughlin. What I mean is that there's tape that exists of them together. It's good, but we have to wait on that till we're done with this." jTpK (l ENGINEER 'OBIE' O'BRIEN, RIGHT, LISTENS . . . Guitarist Lance Quinn strums a few notes "There's so much because of the way Hendrix would work. He and the other pys would come into the studio at 8 o'clock every night and play until 5 or 6 in the morning. Our main job was to keep the tape on the machines because his method was to refine a song as he went along. "On some of the things we have on tape there was no bass and drums, and on some of the stuff the rhythm players would get up and walk out in the middle of a song. So some things are just Jimi and guitar alone, without bass and drums. You can't put things like that out, so we had to finish it, very carefully transcribing what was played and what he Jazz, folk-rock albums critiqued HERBIE HANCOCK -"Man Child" (Columbia PC 33812) ManXhiiarhriatest album from lllerbie Hancock, unquestionably is destined to become his third electronic release to gain widespread popularity with progressive jazz fans. And while "Man Child" does not break J"J I1CW glVUHU UtJVilU tt lit V nauvwn I stated two years ago in his monumental I "Headhunters" album, it is a very worthy ! refinement of the cosmic-funk style i Hancock has made famous. I Hancock has added the polish with a new array of sidemen and different ! instruments, notably Wayne Shorter on "soprano sax and "Blackbird" McKnight ' on guitar, which has given his heady, vibrant style diversity and depth not f found in his previous quintets. Moreoever, on three compositions, Hancock has undertaken a variation of ' the big" band sound, with his liquid, ethereal synthesizer lines being interspersed with the funky repetition of the large rhythm section with surprising success. ' ; The album's highlight is "Bubbles." Hancock always includes cne slow, space ? composition on every album in which his (2MB Record Review keyboard style loosens a bit from its characteristic tightness into a more purely lyrical state. "Man Child" is progressive jazz executed with expertise and passion by one of its founders and leading advocates. While the album will not alter the shape of the medium as did "Headhunters," it will provide the listener with mind-bending, hip-bumping pleasure that increases with each listening. -DAVID SPRINGER TOM JANS -"The Eyes of a Child" (Columbia 33699) Tom Jans returns to the recording world with his second solo release, "The Eyes of a Child," after a two-year lull since his first album was issued on A&M Records. Jans indeed has come back strong. Jans plays a pleasant, soulful style of laid-back folk-rock which is slightly reminiscent of Jackson Browne. But Jans clearjy does .not mimic. His forceful, impassioned lyrics are easily more stirring and enjoyable than Browne's. Jans's strong vocals are complemented by his guitar and piano work, which are equally interspersed throughout his nine original compositions. And he has chosen some very gifted sidemen for this recording session, including Jesse Ed Davis on guitar. Chuck Rainey on bass, Jim Keltner on drums and Mike Utley on organ. Though all of the songs are solid, three radiate even after the first listening. The opening composition, "Gotta Move," is " the best example of Jans's ability to arrange. The song starts off in a moderate tempo, then builds slowly into a state of celebration and relief. "Inside You" is a beautifully melancholy piece with Jans at the piano. -RICK RAFAEL intended to have played. He used to tell the guys what to play, so we followed the instructions he gave on the tape." Once Douglas had winnowed the 3,000 hours down to four hours of especially promising material, the tapes were turned over the Bongiovi, who was expected to reduce the four hours of raw stock to the final product an eight-song, 36-minute album that will be entitled "Midnight Lightning." BONBIOVI AND HIS co-workers at Track Recorders especially staff engineer "Obie" O'Brien and session musician Lance Quinn have gone to extraordinary lengths in their attempt to remain faithful to what seem to be Hendrix's intentions. Guitarist Quinn played a Fender Stratocaster, the same model that Hendrix used, for all his overdubs, and brought the strings down half a step to the F flat tuning that Hendrix favored. "But when we came in we weren't trying to copy what he did or to make somebody sound like him," said Bongiovi.' "We were trying to match the sound of the record. So Hendrix is the star of the album; we just had to fill in all the air that was on the record with what Jimi had planned to put on later." And that's why relatively anonymous session men like Quinn, drummer Alan Schwartzberg and bassist Bob Babbit were used on "Midnight Lightning." "We didn't want to use any soloist guitarists like a Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton," says Bongiovi. "Imagine if we had them on the album - they're stars in their own right. It would have ended up a guitar duel, and that's not fair because Jimi's not really here to defend himself." But even without the opportunity to solo and show off a bit, Quinn, a disciple of Washington's Roy Buchanan and an admirer of England's Jeff Beck, finds the Hendrix sessions rewarding, "In some spots," says the corpulent guitarist, "it was almost like playing in a band with him. And you get a chance to hear him in situations that don't turn up on record. When we listened to the tapes, we heard the parts people never hear on record. Some of the ideas he tried were amazingly creative things that might not work on record but which, as a guitar player, I could appreciate. "The guy was unbelievable. He could really play guitar. It wasn't just that he had mastered the wah-wah pedal, feedback and the other effects. He was a really great guitar player who took something that no one ever did before. He just jumped into the space age all of a sudden instead of just playing rock V roll. He was the most creative there ever was. You can hear it in every note he played." "Nights on Broadway," by the Bee Gees, remained at the top of the WDNG Radio music survey for the third straight week, and three new songs made the top 10. "Island Girl," by Elton John, moved up from third to second, and was followed by "Lover's Question," Loggins and Messina; "Secret Love," Freddy Fender; "The Way I Want to Touch You," Captain and Tennille; "I Want to Do Something Freaky to You." Leon Haywood; and "My Little Town," Simon and Garfunkel. The new songs, ranked eighth through tenth, were "That's the Way I Like It," KC and the Sunshine Band; "Louisiana Lou and Three-Card Monty John," Allman Band; and "Part-time Love," Gladys Knight and the Pips. "That's the Way I Like It" ranked first this week in Cash Box Magazine's nationwide survey f best-selling singles. It was followed in order by: "Fly, Robin, Fly," Silver Convention; "Who Loves You?" Four Seasons; "Island Girl;" "The Way I Want to Touch You;" "This Will Be." Natalie Cole; "Feelings," Morris Albert; "Low Rider!" War; "Sky High." Jigsaw; and "Let's Do It Again," Staple Singers.

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