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Jean-Paul Bourelly: Tribute to Jimi

More than a few lame-assed Hendrix tributes have bounced through the mainstream over the past few years. Guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly views Hendrix through a jazz and rhythm and blues prism rather than through a rock and blues one-Bourelly himself once said that the Hendrix/Miles comparison was more apt than Hendrix/Clapton or Hendrix/Richards, though you might want to throw someone like Boogaloo Joe Jones, Grant Green or Cornell Dupree into that mix, too. So while some of his cover selections on Tribute to Jimi (Koch Jazz, KOC-CD7848, 72:37) are predictable-“The Star Spangled Banner,” “Machine Gun”-others succeed by following Hendrix’s funk inflections to, if not their logical conclusion, some novel territory. “Who Knows/My Baby” and “Straight Ahead” both benefit from drummer Alfredo Alias’ rock-footed gravitational pull, while the beautifully soulful re-casting of “Electric Ladyland” is the disc’s most realized track, highlighted by Irene Datcher’s vocal work. Not the best Bourelly (that would have to go to 1994’s Saints and Sinners), but still worth a listen.

Originally Published