Blue Haze: Songs of Jimi Hendix
While some of the names on this tribute album have amassed musical accolades of their own, they all wisely knew to avoid rivaling Hendrix in pure skill and fiery soul; it would have been embarrassing. Instead, the collection offers 16 varying, often keyboard-heavy interpretations of Jimi Hendrix’s influential compositions, each of which takes the rock legend in a different direction. There’s Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band’s bluesy and contemporary jazz rendition of “All Along the Watchtower,” a soulful Amiee Mann/Tori Amos-like version of “House Burning Down” by Michelle Shocked, and even a pedal-effect-laden twiddling of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Walter Trout & the Free Radicals. While this album is nothing revolutionary, it’s a nice, inoffensive and humble tip of the hat to a man who influenced the styles of most every guitar player out there — including the ones on this album.
Ruf Records, 162 N. 8th St.,, Kenilworth, NJ 07033; http://www.rufrecords.de