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New Album Releases Week of March 9, 2010: Jimi Hendrix, Coco Montoya, Gorillaz…

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James Marshall Hendrix.

In a world that feels like it's filled with more questions than answers, it's brilliant to reflect on those questions that have been definitely answered.  Who is the greatest guitarist of all time?  (Say it with me now) Jimi Hendrix.  The debate is over.  I know there are some of you inclined to disagree.  Not only are you wrong, you're also irrelevant.  Hendrix's place is assured and earned.  Hendrix isn't my favorite guitarist — he's among them, to be sure — but he is the greatest and today we remember and reflect on his many gifts and the unique trail he blazed in such a short time and his enduring iconic status.

For starters, Sony/Legacy is now the major label home for Jimi Hendrix and that means we're getting re-issues of Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, and the posthumous recording First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, the album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death.  All four of these albums have been remastered from the original mix tapes.  I'm very curious about the sonic difference between these and the 'Experience Hendrix' versions currently available.  Each of these four CDs comes accompanied with a DVD documentary about the making of the records. 

In addition, we have a 'new' album from Jimi Hendrix called Valleys of Neptune.  This collection of previously unreleased songs features titles that may be familiar to fans and obsessives but Valleys is being billed as a collection of songs never before officially presented in this form.  That's enough for me.

A note: many Hendrix fans — myself included — have not appreciated the way the Hendrix family members who control the late artist's catalog have managed the family business.  We won't feel any better about the way this re-issue campaign is being orchestrated although, in fairness to them, this stunt isn't one they invented nor is it all that rare.  Target is being given an exclusive version of Valleys of Neptune that features two additional tracks not available on other releases.  Guess when I found this out?  After my Amazon order had already shipped.  Not only are they throwing around different versions of the CD, they aren't doing a good job of publicizing who gets what.  It's terrible and frustrating and just not a proper way to treat the dwindling number of fans willing to shell out the cash.

This year marks 40 years since Hendrix's death, 3 years to the day before I was born.  40 years later and what he did stands up to music still being made today.  A lot of much more recent music already sounds dated.  Much of the Hendrix catalog still feels fresh and contemporary.  The greatest?  Bet your ass.

Coco Montoya
I Want It All Back

Bluesman Coco Montoya has a brand new set, his first for Ruf Records after a very nice run at Blind Pig and Alligator records.  This new set was co-produced by Keb' Mo' and finds Montoya branching out to incorporate different sounds and influences, and even changing his focus just a little.

“People know where I’m at with the guitar, but here the vocals are being concentrated on,” said Coco about the new album. “There will certainly be guitar, but the focus has been on song structure and my vocals.

Heartbreakers' drummer Steve Ferrone joins Montoya, as do Keb' Mo, Reggie McBride and Jeff Paris.  Rod Piazza, another contemporary blues maestro, makes a cameo.

A couple other notables I want to mention at least in passing before we get to the full list:  legendary guitarist Ry Cooder has teamed up for an album with The Chieftains, blending Latin and Irish musical traditions.  That's not an obvious pairing of styles.  It could really be something.  Also, cartoon band Gorillaz are back with another full length.  I've never understood that appeal myself, but it's yours if you want it…

Alberta Cross  
Broken Side Of Time  

Aloha 
Home Acres 

Badu, Erykah Tribute 
Smooth Jazz Tribute To Erykah Badu – Volume 2 

Bahleda, Mercedes 
Mercy Song 

Beanie Sigel & Freeway 
Roc Boys 

Before Their Eyes 
Untouchable 

Berry, Chuck 
You Can't Catch Me 

Besnard Lakes, The 
The Besnard Lakes Are The Roar 

Bled, The 
Heat Fetish 

Blind Witness 
Nightmare On Providence St 

Blyton, Carey 
Lyrics From The Chinese 

Bone Thugs 
Bone Thugs -N- Harmony 

Boss Hogg Outlawz Presents 
Outlaw Season 2 

Braxton, Anthony 
News From The 70S 

Broken Bells 
Broken Bells 

Bundles, The 
The Bundles 

Burning Star Core 
Papercuts Theater 

Can 
Delay 

Chasen 
That Was Then, This Is Now 

Chingo Bling 
Chyne Flu, The 

Coconuts 
Coconuts 

Cohen, Leonard 
Leonard Cohen's Jukebox 

Coldplay Tribute 
Buddha Lounge Renditions Of Coldplay 

Collett, Jason 
Rat A Tat Tat 

Cosmic Gate 
Back To Back 4 

Cross, Donnie 
Law Abiding Citizen 

Dark Tranquillity 
We Are The Void 

Darkthrone 
Frostland Tapes 

Daughters 
Daughters 

Demon Hunter 
World Is A Thorn, The 

Diddley, Bo 
Who Do You Love 

Dj Tiesto 
Space Age 1.0 

Dj Tiesto 
Space Age 2.0 

Dubois, Scott 
Black Hawk Dance 

Eluveitie 
Everything Remains 

Emanuel And The Fear 
Listen 

Evanescence Tribute 
Buddha Lounge Renditions Of Evanescence 

Excalion 
High Time 

Feldman: Trio 
Aki Takahshi, Rohan De Saram, Marc Sabat 

Fijneman, Cor 
Private Party 3 

Finntroll 
Nifelvind 

Fleshtones, The 
The I.R.S. Years 1980-1985 It’s Super Rock Time! 

Fowlis, Julie 
Uam 

Frightened Rabbit 
The Winter Of Mixed Drinks 

Gibson, Jon 
Two Solo Pieces 

Gonjasufi 
A Sufi And A Killer 

Gorillaz 
Plastic Beach 

Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli And Blake Neely 
The Pacific (Soundtrack) 

Hawkwind 
Minneapolis 1989 

Hendrix, Jimi 
First Rays Of The New Rising Sun 

Hendrix, Jimi 
Valleys Of Neptune 

Hendrix, Jimi, The Experience 
Are You Experienced?   

Hendrix, Jimi, The Experience 
Axis: Bold As Love 

Hendrix, Jimi, The Experience 
Electric Ladyland 

Hendrix, Jimi, The Experience 
Smash Hits 

Iannis Xenakis: Works With Piano – Eonta, Akea, Etc. 
Aki Takahshi, Rohan De Saram, Jack Quartet, Callithumpian Consort/Stephen Drury 

Immolation 
Majesty And Decay 

Imperium Dekadenz 
Procella Vadens 

Jj 
Jj No 3 

Katatonia 
The Great Cold Distance ( Stereo & 5.1 Mix ) 

Keane, Tommy 
The Piper S Apron 

Kidz In The Hall 
Land Of Make Believe 

Knife With Mt. Sims, The 
Tomorrow, In A Year 

Kurosky, Miles 
The Desert Of Shallow Effects 

Lady Antebellum Tribute 
Piano Tribute To Lady Antebellum 

Larkin, Patty 
25    

Lawrence Arabia 
Chant Darling 

Laxmikant Pyarelal 
Bollywood Remembers Laxmikant Pyarelal 

Lee, Brenda 
Sweet Nothins 

Liars 
Sisterworld 

Liars 
Sisterworld – Ltd Ed Deluxe 

Lymon, Frankie And The Teenagers 
Why Do Fools Fall In Love 

Mac Duncan 
Live At The Lord Napier 1973 

Manegarm 
Nattvasen 

Mcmorrow, Brenda 
Ameya 

Menace 
Exposing Studio Gangsters 

Method Actors, The 
This Is Still It 

Miguel Yisreal (Lute) 
Court Of Bayreuth, The: Lute Music Of Hagen & Falckenhagen, 

Mimicking Birds 
Mimicking Birds 

Mitchell, Anais 
Hadestown 

Coco Montoya
I Want It All Back

Morning Benders, The 
Big Echo 

Mortemia 
Misere Mortem 

Morton, Jelly Roll 
Oh Mister Jelly! 

Mr. Lil One 
Boxset 

Murder Death Kill 
Fuck With Us And Find Out 

Myrath 
Desert Call 

O'donnell, Daniel 
Daniel O'donnell Early Memories 

Of Mice And Men 
Of Mice And Men 

Ohlson, Curtis 
Better Than Ever 

Ortolan 
Time On A String 

Pavement 
Quarantine The Past: Greatest 

Perry, Lee 
Mad Alien Dub 

Peter, Paul & Mary 
Peter, Paul And Mary: With Symphony Orchestra – The Prague Sessions 

Pop, Iggy 
Anthology Box – The Stooges & Beyond 

Putumayo Kids Presents 
Jazz Playground 

Robbins, Marty 
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You / I've Got A Woman's Love 

Ronstadt, Linda 
Simple Dreams 

Rotta, Rudy 
Blue Inside 

Rotting Christ 
Aealo 

Rouse, Josh 
El Turista 

Schiller, Alan 
Piano Moods And Seasons 

Selby, Mark 
Live At Rockpalast – One Night In Bonn 

Serj Tankian 
Elect The Dead Symphony 

Shop Boyz & C-Murder 
Community Service 2 

Soundtrack/Cast Album 
Cold Souls 

Speed Caravan 
Kalashnik Love 

Stefano Bagliano (Recorder); Collegium Pro Musica 
Fiorenze & Mele: Recorder Concertos 

Stellar Kart 
Everything Is Different Now 

Sterling, Suzanne 
Blue Fire Soul 

Stewart, Al With Dave Nachmanof 
Uncorked Al Sterwart Live 

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists 
The Brutalist Bricks 

Titus Andronicus 
The Monitor 

Totalt Javla Morker 
Sondra & Harska 

Trae 
Incredible Truth 1.5 

Tuki 
My Life 

Van Canto 
Tribe Of Force 

Varg 
Blutaar 

Various 
The Little Ballerina! The Greatest Classical Ballet Music For Children 

Various 
Rock Of The '80S 

Various 
Elevator Music: Vol. 1 

Various 
Secondhand Sureshots 

Various Artists 
Forbidden Planets – Music From The Pioneers Of Electronic Sound 

Voom:Voom 
Mixes 

White Hinterland 
Kairos 

White Wizzard 
Over The Top 

Zero Db 
One Off's, Remixes & B Sides

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    They had an album release party for this tonight at the record store just up the street from me and I didn’t even go. Not even with the free pizza and beer they were offering.

    Too cold out tonight for one thing. But for another, I’m just not that thrilled or excited about yet another album of “new, undiscovered” music from the Hendrix family.

    The title track sounds pretty good I admit, but if they filled the rest with stuff like “Sunshine Of Your Love,” etc. (which have all been widely bootlegged going back decades), the whole thing just seems like another attempt to cash in. I understand this is what record companies and such do, but that doesn’t mean I have to throw my support behind it, pretty packaging notwithstanding.

    If I’m wrong so be it, but if that’s the case it’ll be a first over years and decades of Hendrix exploitation.

    In my opinion, they need to let the poor guy rest.

    -Glen

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    I’m uncertain about this whole Hendrix thing at the moment. I’m reading that NONE of these are remasters (aside from the “new” material on Valleys, of course) despite the billing that AYE and Axis get being from the 2-track masters, and the DVDs have between 15 and 25 minutes of material on them. Considering there’s already a deluxe edition of Electric Ladyland from a couple years ago with a 90 minute Classic Albums DVD, this is pretty lame.

    As for the Target bonus tracks, they aren’t totally exclusive. They were on one of the Dagger releases.

    The last really significant release was the purple box, and I have a feeling that may remain the last significant Hendrix release for some time. It is *almost* all I need, actually.

    I’ll save my money and by some new headphones instead. And Broken Bells – actual NEW music.

  • Josh Hathaway

    There was a whole lotta good in that purple box, wasn’t there? I really love that. I’ve heard mixed reports on the ‘remaster’ of the prior CDs. I’m probably getting suckered (again). It’s nothing new for me. The music industry can spot me coming from miles away.

    I just got some new Shure earbuds last month and I quite enjoy them.

    Tell me about Broken Bells, Tom.

  • Josh Hathaway

    It’s worth $10 for Valleys of Neptune to hear Jimi’s splendid take on Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.”

  • http://sterfish.blogspot.com Sterfish

    I’m looking forward to picking up both Broken Bells (James Mercer of The Shins & Danger Mouse) and Gorillaz. I checked out both on NPR’s website and enjoyed them quite a bit.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Ah, so that’s what Broken Bells is. Okay. Interesting pairing, perhaps. I’m not sure but sometimes I think I want to strike Danger Mouse regardless who this week’s Penfold is.

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    Give Broken Bells a shot, Josh. You might be surprised.

    I’ve got a set of really nice on-the-ear Sennheiser’s on the way. Love my in-ear TripleFi’s, but some weird, extremely unfortunate and annoying repercussions of a sinus infection a couple months back have left me with constant tinnitus that the isolation of canalphones just makes all the more apparent.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Sennheiser is great. I worked with it and Shure in my radio daze and they both make great gear. I look forward to hearing how you like them upon their arrival. Come to think of it, it’s been too long since we’ve read your words, Sir Tom. Best to remedy that post haste, good sir.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    love the real Danger Mouse reference, Baroni. I need to get some DVDs of that show.

    Josh, give him a reason to extol the virtues of Rush and that will get him to the keyboard. Conform or be cast out, Johnson.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Silas Greenback, I presume

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Well, I was happy to get First Rays of the Third Rising Cry of the Sun’s Lovin’ Rainbow or whatever they wannna call it – I think this funkier material would’ve suited Hendrix just fine after all the 60s stuff ran its course. Ezy Rider in particular – why didn’t he keep Buddy Miles?

  • sydferret

    I hope they release all the good stuff before I die.