Al Di Meola :
Guitarist-composer-bandleader and member of Return to Forever in the mid-’70s.
One of my favorite Hendrix songs was a very pretty, very underrated tune he did on his first album called “May This Be Love.” He does this solo that sounds like his guitar is underwater, which was so totally foreign to me at the time. I mean, there I was, 13 years old in Bergenfield, New Jersey, learning everything from jazz to bossa nova to classical from my mentor and this guy comes out with underwater guitar sounds! It was so revolutionary at the time. Hendrix was such an innovator. He was just into experimenting with sounds and taking tunes out with long solos that took you on a little bit of an adventure. And this is what is gradually slipping away in the music industry today, not so much in jazz but especially in the music you hear on the radio. It’s so hip to be able to be as free and experimental as Hendix was, but today the pressure is on so much for anyone who’s into the business of selling records to make pop music in the A-B-A form. And I don’t think that pressure was on as heavily back then.
As far as Hendrix the player, his soloing was definitely in the jazz tradition and a lot of members of the jazz community picked up on it. Not everyone, of course—there’s a lot of players from the old school who couldn’t stand to listen to Hendrix. But of my generation, most everyone will admit that Jimi was a leader.
Source : http://jazztimes.com/articles/20150-jimi-hendrix-modern-jazz-axis