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In from the Storm (The Music of Jimi Hendrix)

Various Artists

℗ 1995 RCA Victor Records 74321 68233

Various Artists  1995  In from the Storm (The Music of Jimi Hendrix)

"The performances featured on this compilation celebrate Jimi Hendrix's unique spirit and remarkable catalog in a symphonic context," writes annotator John McDermott of an album "featuring Sting, Carlos Santana, Brian Hay, John McLaughlin, Taj Mahal, Eric Schenkman, Steve Lukather, Paul Rodgers, Buddy Miles, Bootsy Collins, Tony Williams, Stanley Clarke, Robben Ford, Sass Jordan, Cozy Powell, Corey Glover, Hiram Bullock, Toots Thielemans, Bernie Worrell, Doug Pinnick, Dave Abbruzzese, Billy Cox, Noel Redding, and Steve Vai with the London Metropolitan Orchestra." The real force behind this Hendrix tribute album is producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, who engineered Hendrix's original albums. Unlike other tribute albums, in which a group of cover songs are collected from established artists, In from the Storm features performances by one-time ensembles put together specially by Kramer, usually featuring the London Metropolitan Orchestra. For the most part, Kramer attempts to copy the original arrangements and recordings, even to the point of recreating the swirling, phased echo effects on the songs from Axis: Bold as Love. The guitarists subjugate their own styles, trying to impersonate Hendrix (even Carlos Santana), and so do the vocalists. The best tracks are the most imaginative ones, a purely orchestral version of "Little Wing" with Thielemans playing the melody on harmonica and a non-orchestral funk version of "Purple Haze" played by some of the original members of Bootsy's Rubber Band with Miles on vocals. Otherwise, there's little reason to listen to these versions as opposed to Hendrix's originals. William Ruhlmann.