150

Nguyen Le: Purple: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix

Julian Derry By

Sign in to view read count
Nguyen Le: Purple: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix's greatest quality was the way he engaged his audience. The warm powerful tones of his guitar playing, the near- spiritual journeys through new magical lands of guitar wizardry drew the listener in to share in an emotional embrace. Alas, elements of this Hendrix tribute album conspire to make it an impersonal, less earthy experience. Nguyên Lé's guitar tone is not so warm. Reedy guitar-synth patches suit the angular playing better heard on his 1996 album Tales from Vietnam. The overall impression is one of Scott Henderson without the blues, when the blues are foremost in Hendrix's music, preferably intoned with a visceral grungy Fender/Marshall voice. The new readings of classic songs lead us further afield. Familiar Hendrix motifs are sold short at the cost of sentimentality. Even lyrics have been translated into various lingoes.

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

Personnel: Nguyen Le: guitar.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: ACT Music | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Preston Glasgow Lowe" CD/LP/Track Review Preston Glasgow Lowe
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!