Jimi Hendrix remains a touchstone for rock guitar, even more than 35 years after his death. It isnt surprising, therefore, that a tribute organized by the guitarists family would attract a few hotshot guitarists. What is reassuring is how some of the guitarists on this DVD have absorbed his lessons and created their own voices. Experience Hendrix is composed of performances in 2002 in Seattle and San Diego and features Kenny Wayne Shepard, Indigenous, Living Colour, and a number of other artists interpreting songs written or popularized by one of the true geniuses of rock.
Shepard opens the DVD with "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)," and he lights up the stage with a fiery solo that evokes the master while moving into its own territory. He tackles "I Dont Live Today," a brave move indeed, and pulls it off with aplomb. Mato Nanje, the guitarist for Indigenous, takes a lengthy solo during "Hear My Train A Comin" that shows plenty of speed and dexterity without running out of ideas or dissolving into self-indulgence. Hubert Sumlin, the great guitarist for Howlin Wolf, meets Jimmy D. Lane for a summit that connects Hendrixs influences with a generation of guitarists he inspired. Living Colour turns in two fine performances. Vernon Reids playing is somewhat hectic, but the band as a unit has a great feeling for what makes "Power of Soul" and "Cross Town Traffic" tick.
Not everything works on Experience Hendrix. Paul Rodgers is in good voice on "Stone Free," and its good to see Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox behind him, but the guitarists cant seem to get out of their own way. I also could have done without Kenny Wayne Shepards singer, Noah Hunt. The two-channel sound is not too compressed, and the filming is as straightforward as most of the performances.
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