Deux articles passionnants qui en disent long sur la stratégie de communication d'Alan Douglas au moment de la sortie de "Crash Landing".Jimi Hendrix Makes A 'Crash Landing' From The Phantom Zone
By Michael Gross
Late at night, the cluster of rock neophytes bunched around the portals of Steve Paul's famous club, The Scene, would scatter like mice as Jimi Hendrix flashed out the door and disappeared down the grim streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen. Within minutes of shedding the nifty nightlife. his stack-heeled boots would round a cobbled corner and dance into the familiar doorway or the Record Plant. There, night after night, a gang of engineers and friends would perk up at the master's entrance and set the huge recording spools spinning.
For two years before his death, Hendrix had been quietly recording a new, advanced album, but he died in London just months before its release. His label, Reprise, would say that intended album was Cry Of Love
but it wasn't - or was it Rainbow Bridge
or any of the other posthumous releases that soon came out in Jimi's name. Hendrix made the music, but his manager, Michael Jeffrey, controlled it, and until now, little has been known of what the legendary guitarist really recorded in 1969 and 1970. Now, thanks to jazz buff and Jimi Hendrix confidant Alan Douglas, the true story of Jimi's last musical inspirations will unfold at last on a series of albums for Reprise beginning with Crash Landing
Frustrated Innovator: "Jimi carne to fame through a great, unique and devastating pop formula that people loved, "his friend", and now Alan Douglas' assistant, Ken Shaffer explained as the new disc was being readied for release. "But by the time people heard his music on wax, it was a year and a half after he conceived and recorded it. Michael Jeffrey, Hendrix's manager at the time, was a keen business man. People have called him a heel, but he was protecting his business interests." That interest was in a group consisting of guitarist James Marshall Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, whose album, Are You Experienced
, sent shock waves through the music business in the late sixties, and unheard of sounds through the ears of Jimi's new, but already rabid fans,Axis: Bold As Love
and the superb two record set, Electric Ladyland
, followed quickly, establishing the sound of Hendrix .. Jimi, however, wanted to move on. Late in 1969, Hendrix broke up The Experience, forming a transitional group, Band of Gypsys, with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. "In '69, when Jimi was on stage with the Band of Gypsys." Shaffer continued, "he would play 'Foxy Lady' and the crowd would simply go ape. Then he'd play something experimental and they'd throw stuff at him." That's when the name-calling started. No one was ready to hear music that made them think, and very few musicians were at his level. Billy Cox and Buddy Miles played the licks he heard, but the band Jimi dreamed of never materialized. So he got away from the bright lights, the business mayhem and the rock and roll crap and just went to the studio. "He disappeared for two years as far as the public was concerned. He played with everybody at that point and made a lot of different kinds of music."
As the audience wondered, Hendrix played for himself and his friends in studios and apartments, Then, in the middle of 1969, he decided it was time to make records again and began looking for a producer who wouldn't be constrained by the old formulas. For a long time he'd known Alan Douglas, owner of a small special jazz label, and producer of such giants as John McLaughlin, John Coltrane, Timothy Leary and Billie Holliday. Hendrix, who had been brought up on R&B and jazz, was ready to abandon acid-rock and return to his roots.
Douglas vs. Jeffrey: But Hendrix wasn't completely satisfied with the tracks he'd been doing with Douglas, and though a complete album was in the can, he'd intended to redo a number of the songs which held up the release of the LP. Another problem stood in the way of the Hendrix-Douglas collaboration besides the intended remix. Hendrix, did not have a contract with Reprise Records. Rather, he was owned by the Michael Jeffrey production company, and it was Jeffrey's job to deliver the records. Hendrix never dealt directly with Reprise, Jeffrey knew about Douglas producing Jimi, and those sessions eventually wound up on the posthumous albums released by Jeffrey through Reprise. Tracks like "Stepping Stone," "Isabella" and "Dolly Dagger," originally intended for release on the one album he was doing when he died, would, after Jimi's death, be spread thinly across three slices of vinyl.
"The Douglas sessions went on for months and Jeffrey finally got hip to what was going on," Shaffer continued, "Jeffrey got pissed off because an old man (Douglas was in his 40's) was influencing Jimi to play R&B and jazz. Three out of five hours in the studio were nor spent on 'Dolly Dagger', but on strange stuff. So he informally enjoined Douglas from working with Jimi again." There was no court action, but Douglas realized that when push came to shove, Jeffrey could keep him from Hendrix. He made a concession to legality, if not morality, and when the scene got ugly, Douglas walked, remaining Jimi's friend, but no longer twirling his dials. "At that point," Ken went on, "Jimi started getting a little spaced out behind Jeffrey, but he couldn't hold a grudge, he wouldn't fight back, he'd just look at you and go 'WOOF WOOF: literally." "He continued recording on his own, without a producer. In some cases he didn't even listen to the tracks. In others he would get hung up on a lick and overdub for hours." In all. he recorded over 600 hours of 16-track rape, as well as hundreds more hours of 8-track, 4-track and cassette tapes.
"Jimi died in September. 1970. He recorded in The Record Plant before that, and then, in August. about a month before he went to England. he worked in Electric Lady Studios (which he helped design and finance)," For the next few years, rumors would fly about the manner of Jimi's death and his state of mind prior to it. According to Shaffer, Jimi couldn't have felt better. "No one killed Jimi. I know people who were there the night he took the white powder. There's a sense of outrage about it, but he wasn't murdered. He did not kill himself. Rather he died senselessly choking on his own vomit."
Shadows Of The Ghost: "When Jimi died, the tapes were gathered from Electric Ladyland and The Record Plant and Jeffrey sorted through them - close to 1,000 hours in all - in less than two weeks. He came to the conclusion that everything besides the one nearly completed LP was no good. They were listening for finished, Experience-type material. That's why they only came up with 'Dolly Dagger.' We spent close to five months doing the same job. The tapes were unmarked, there were no muscians' logs, no dates. Some had Jeffrey's listening notes, On the McLaughlin tapes it said "Jimi with other guitarist - no good." This was even before Cry Of Love
came out. They were then put into storage in a warehouse in New Jersey and when Jeffrey died they reverted to the Hendrix estate, some lawyers, his relatives. The estate controlled by Jimi's family never exercised its artistic control after Jeffrey's death."
The Panamanian Connection: As an estate can only stay in business for a certain amount of time, co-production rights to the warehouse tapes were eventually bought by a Panamanian corporation. They had been evaluated by Jeffrey as worthless, so Jimi's father sold them to the Panamanians, getting a 50-50 cut on any future use of them. The tapes would be stored in the warehouse to this day had not Alan Douglas, one of the few people even aware of their existence, finally relented to the pressures of his close relationship with Jimi. He'd been approached before, but Douglas would not join in the circus atmosphere of the Hendrix death cult. Then, a year ago, Don Schmitzerle, the general manager of Reprise Records, called Shaffer. He told Ken that he regretted the albums that had been released in Jimi's name by Reprise, and that the Hendrix estate, along with the Panamanians, had just delivered a new album that was so bad he'd had to reject it. As a fan, Schmitzerle wanted to know if there was any more good material still in existence. Shaffer got him together with Douglas and the chemistry was finally right. Douglas concluded Schmitzerle would not violate Hendrix any further, and told him about the warehouse tapes. As a sign of good faith Reprise agreed to withdraw several of the posthumous Hendrix albums from release, putting out one album combining just the good material. Douglas knew there was more good material in existence, and proceeded to get permission to release it with the blessings of the estate. He formed Dapaja Productions with the estate and the Panamanian connection, and shipped the tapes to Shaggy Dog Studios in Massachusetts. where the mammoth task of listening, evaluating, editing and, occasionally, overdubbing, was begun.
Tracks Of A Titan: Crash Landing
opens with "Message To Love" simply a Hendrix classic. His guitar work is startling, and the vocals are as funky as Hendrix ever got. It is a blockbuster opening to what may soon be acclaimed as Hendrix's finest album. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" follows, truly a cry for love, a look at desperation, but most importantly, a plea for hope. As Hendrix talk-sings through the song. One gets the feeling he knew what was coming in the world, and a track like this comes at no better time. It's the anguished cry of an almost-beaten optimist, yet hope is the refrain that runs through its lyrics.
The title cut, a funky rocker with a Creedence/John Fogarty opening follows. As the guitar begins its intricate line, the song strays from simplicity, but it remains a strong rock song. The same is true of "Come Down Hard On Me" which closes the side with a sexy rush.
Side Two opens with "Peace In Mississippi," a song Hendrix wrote when he heard Martin Luther King had been killed, The anger in the track is astounding, as marching feet, blazing guns, war cries, fear and grief combine - not as in "The Star Spangled Banner," where Jimi took off alone, but rather in a tightly controlled, bluesbased form. "With The Power," a reworking of an old number originally intended for Cry Of Love
, is a guitar showcase that leads with a fierce one-two punch into "Stone Free Again," another reworking, but so remarkably different from the original that it becomes a new song. The rhythm track blisters and boils as Hendrix spits out the lyrics of one of his greatest anthems.
The album closes with "Captain Coconut," a tribute to sixties psychedelia, with all the accompanying madness, sound effects and head-twisting stereo studio tricks. Pink Floyd might have learned from this track, as they, and most of this generation's stars, learned from the Hendrix legacy. Crash Landing
is only 30 minutes long in it's entirety, but it is the most satisfying half hour of Hendrix since Electric Ladyland
. The guitar work is superb, and Hendrix's musical accompaniment is unmatched anywhere in the product released during the five years since his death.
Add these new albums to the reality, because they are what Jimi Hendrix was really about. "People thought he was played with like a toy," Shaffer said as he turned off a tape of Hendrix and McLaughlin in his Tangiers decorated living room. "It was all part of the myth. Jimi was smart. He called the shots. But he became bigger than life. He had everything: he was gifted, rich, sexy as hell, and deserving of it all. But he was also "a blank screen" for peoples' fantasies." Now Shaffer, Alan Douglas, and Reprise Records intend to color in at least a part of that screen.
More Black Gold
Out of 600 hours of tape, Alan Douglas has culled at least three albums slated for release. The first, Crash Landing
, is the most accessible, the most like what Hendrix fans already know. With the posthumous albums off the market, a one album collection of their best tracks will also be released. And there's more.
One album side will contain a jam between Hendrix and jazz keyboardist Larry Young. It forecasts such later jazz-rock experiments as Miles Davis' Jack Johnson
, McLaughlin's work with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Herbie Hancock, and contains some of Hendrix' most incredible guitar work ever. Also available, probably for the flipside of the Larry Young tracks, are six tapes made with guitarist John McLaughlin. Ken Shaffer described these tapes as "transcendent," and even a short listening confirms that analysis. The McLaughlin tapes have been held up as a result of negotiations with Nat Weiss, John's lawver, who would like them for his own Nemperor label. Therefore, some of these jazz albums may be released separately by Weiss.
Warners and Douglas will definitely release an album of Hendrix playing blues - new, standard, and reworked versions of his old songs, entitled Multicolored Blues
. If reaction to these three or four albums is good, Douglas will consider the release of live tapes, some of the superstar jam sessions, and other examples of Hendrix's '69-'70 experimental sessions.
Black Gold: Listening to the album, Shaffer was reminded of a strange occurrence that, in a way, capsulizes the rip-off zoo that was Jimi Hendrix until now. A few months ago, during the editing sessions, the phone rang in Douglas' office. A distorted voice on the other end said he had some Hendrix tapes that might interest Douglas. When he said they were in a suitcase, Douglas knew the voice meant business.
The night Jimi died, his New York apartment had been robbed. His guitars were taken, as was a suitcase that contained, among other things, five cassette tapes. On those tapes were Jimi's recorded autobiography, made with Douglas in Jimi's apartment. On those tapes, Hendrix, told the story of a space man who came to earth and became a rock and roll star. The tapes were titled Black Gold
. Douglas' excitement was obvious as he spoke to the mysterious caller. Without realizing his mistake, he asked if the suitcase had been stolen from Jimi's apartment. The caller freaked, hung up, and disappeared into the ozone. Somewhere out there, those tapes still exist - more of the real Hendrix legacy - and someone has them, locked away from the world in a suitcase that no one would ever recognize.
Le scan de l'article :THE HENDRIX TAPES
By Dave Marsh
Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, leaving behind a fabled Dutchman's Mine of un released music. But unfortunately, the releases since his demise in general have been disappointing (Cry of Love), and in some cases, downright shoddy (War Heroes).
But late last year, Hendrix's last producer, impresario Alan Douglas, announced that there was still gold in the Hendrix vault. He estimated that there exists an additional unreleased 600 hours of Jimi's music. Much of it, even a superficial listening can confirm, is first-rate; some of it, more intense hearings assure, is as good as anything the man ever played.
The first of the new Hendrix records (on Reprise) won't be issued until sometime this year. Not all of the material is complete, and Douglas has some complicated decisions to make concerning what to overdub and what to leave alone. Some of those tapes reviewed here will almost definitely appear on commercial records; some of them may never emerge.
The Hendrix tapes fall neatly into two categories: jams and songs. The former are largely instrumental, with few vocals, if any. They were made during improvisatory, and generally informal, jam sessions between Jimi and a number of other instrumental virtuosi. Among the other players featured are John McLaughlin, the dynamic young guitar player who was just then assembling the first Mahavishnu Orchestra; Khalid Yasin (Larry Young), a mainstay, with McLaughlin, of Tony Williams's Lifetime; and such rock guitarists as Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills, Little Feat's Lowell George, and others. The rhythm section for almost all of the material-songs and jams - is Billy Cox on bass and drummer Buddy Miles, though others sometimes step in. The best of the jams are with McLaughlin and Yasin.
In their raw state, the McLaughlini Hendrix tapes are reportedly ten hours long. They were recorded in 1969 at the Record Plant in New York while Douglas was producing McLaughlin's Devotion LP upstairs and Hendrix's final formal sessions below. The two master guitarists got together for a variety of dates, mostly following weehour sessions. The Yasin tapes were recorded under similar circumstances at about the same time.
McLaughlin and Hendrix prodded each other. McLaughlin was still learning the differences between acoustic and electric playing, and he occasionally plays runs from the standard Chuck Berry-to-Hendrix rock handbook. Hendrix is capable of responding with jazz licks, and obviously delights in learning from McLaughlin's experience in that idiom. There is much empathy on these sides, few false starts, and once they get started, McLaughlin and Hendrix achieve the sort of interplay that producers of supersessions always seek but rarely discover.
The McLaughlin sessions were exploratory ones, while the dates with Yasin were more fully realized. Yasin was a more experienced jazz player than McLaughlin, with a more fully developed black self-consciousness than Hendrix. He must have been an attractive colleague to a man who had nearly been caught playing the role of Black Superstud to white rock America's fantasies. Then, too, Yasin was as interested in discovering the electric properties of his instrument, the organ, as Hendrix was with his guitar. On the tapes, Hendrix never needs to make the kind of elementary rock statement he does with McLaughlin. Freed by Yasin's flowing organ lines, he delves into the staccato notes, and the lines overflow with feedback. When Yasin moves to the fore, he uses his organ to build waves of feedback, shooting chords into the midst of them like lightning in a thunderstorm. The effects are occasionally mechanical, but also frequently moving.
Hendrix's tapes with other rock players are less interesting, in part because of the excellence of the McLaughlin/ Yasin dates. In general, the rock dates branch out from basic twelvebar blues ideas, which Hendrix had probably already outgrown. For rock guitar fans, though, this may be the most interesting material available. If it is clear that Hendrix is never musically challenged, it is equally apparent that he is moved to take some risks with showmanship.
There are three basic subsets among the new Hendrix songs: First, there are standard songs that Jimi adapted to fit his needs. Included among these are a devastating seven-minute version of "Gloria," and a slightly sluggish "Hoochie Koochie Man."
Second, there are Hendrix originals, most of them considerably revamped from the versions previously available. "51 st Anniversary," for instance, makes it obvious that the take on Smash Hits is nothing more than a preliminary exploration of the tune's possibilities. "Stone Free" is also longer and more introspective. Unfortunately, "Isabella" and "Machine Gun," done here as a medley, suffer from the same aimlessness that marred them on the Band of Gypsys album, where they first appeared. But when Hendrix decides to pen up with a truly tommy-gun spray of "machine gun" notes, the effect is devastating.
Third, and most interesting of the Hendrix songs, are his new originals. Some of them, such as "Lover Man," were presented in somewhat bowdlerized versions in earlier posthumous reissues, but several others are completely new. These include "Crash Landing," "Somewhere," "New Rising Sun" (a piano/guitar duet of fragile beauty, which Douglas says has lyrics, somewhere), "Anything Is Possible," "Messenger," "Peace In Mississippi," "Message to Love," and "Farther On Down the Road." The central thrust of the music is toward a more soulful, R&B approach than previous Hendrix rock songs. As always, the lyrics are Dylanesque, half in tribute to the man Hendrix listed among his greatest influences, and half a result of his own wild imagination.
The greatest of the songs is "Crash Landing," which has all the properties Hendrix was famous for, in addition to a biting sense of sarcasm. And, as if the title weren't epitaph enough, he sings, in a chilled voice you'll remember when the last note has died away:
"I'm going to spank your hand and take away all of those stupid needles - l'm gonna try to make love straight for the very first and last time."
Source : http://crosstowntorrents.org/showthread.php?t=1403
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