Review - Searching for Jimi Hendrix

Artist: Various artists


"Searching for Jimi Hendrix" is the soundtrack of director D.A. Pennebaker's newest documentary of the same name. Pennebaker, who also directed Dylan's "Don't Look Back" and Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," let 11 totally different artists -- from film composer Mark Isham to the gospel group Five Blind Boys of Alabama -- choose and record any Hendrix tune their own way. The results are ambitious but uneven. Los Lobos does a faithful rendering of "Are You Experienced," while Taylor Dane turns "The Wind Cries Mary" into soulless synth pop.

The best here is Los Illegals' revved-up rumba version of "Little Wing" and Charlie Musselwhite's Delta blues on "Hear My Train A' Comin'." The worst is certainly Chuck D's "Hendrix-inspired" rap, which comes off like a dated gangsta rant that has little to do with Hendrix or his pervasive influence on music today.