Nguy: Purple: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix (2002)
Arguably tributes should embrace the honouree's contribution and then extend it in new directions. Lê fleetingly doffs his hat to Hendrix in his playing and in the liner notes but nevertheless does not make us understand his debt to him. Nor would one find sufficient indication of this from his previous work. Nonetheless, when he does crank up the reverb and sticks to the script, he can do quite a good imitation.
There is good support from the sidemen. Probably best known is Me'Shell NdegéOcello (Madonna, Chaka Khan, John Mellencamp) who lays down some plump fluid basslines on her two guest tracks, but gets eclipsed by Michael Alibo's funk bass, which gives an interesting contemporary twist on the other cuts. Most notable for her vocal work here is drum prodigy Terri Lynn Carrington (Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Cassandra Wilson), who otherwise puts in a solid performance embellished by Karim Ziad's African percussion.
The album is generally wishy-washy and lacking direction. It does not sufficiently replicate Hendrix, nor extend the listening experience of Hendrix's music. There are blistering good acid jazz versions of Hendrix favourites, but these are too infrequent, dispersed between long sections of production effects. Highlights are a funked-up "Purple Haze," an Africanised "Voodoo Child [sic] (Slight Return)" and a take on "If 6 Was 9" similar to the R&B version Santana has been playing recently on tour.
Track Listing: 1 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) 2 Manic Depression 3 Are You Experienced 4 Purple Haze 5 Burning of the Midnight Lamp 6 If 6 Was 9 7 Voodoo Child (slight return) 8 South Saturn Delta 9 Up From The Skies 10 Third Stone From The Sun
Record Label: ACT Music