Book: Hear My Train A Comin’
Although his activity as a recording artist spanned a period of just three years, from 1967, the year of his arrival in England from America to 1970, the year of his death, Jimi Hendrix created a body of work that has exerted a significant influence on a number of artists in the 20th century and beyond. A headline-grabbing, explosive performer, he is widely recognized as an innovative guitarist who broadened the vocabulary of his instrument through both his technique and daring use of technology. For several generations of critics and audiences, he remains the archetypal rock star who framed his immeasurable talent with lifestyle excesses inherent to his profession.
Hear My Train A Comin’ seeks to appraise Hendrix’s legacy in different terms. His ability as a soloist is undeniable, but it is not necessarily the defining aspect of his genius. This book focuses on Hendrix the songwriter, a superlative storyteller who was able to combine melody, lyric and arrangement in order to create pieces that take pride of place in the pantheon of post-war popular music. Why do anthems such as Crosstown Traffic, The Wind Cries Mary, Little Wing, Voodoo Child [Slight Return] Purple Haze or Foxy Lady still affect us today? They alchemize word and sound.
These are just a few examples of Hendrix crafting a composition in the most complete sense of the term, making judicious decisions with regard to mood, texture, contrast and overall orchestral richness, looking at his basic resource, the guitar-bass-drums set up as a unit to be enhanced by a range of other instruments and studio production.
This book investigates the artist’s immense creativity, and the intriguing relationship he had with the art of song, a platform for a multitude of ideas and improvisation.