Nine to the Universe


Nine to the Universe
Nine to the Universe
Studio album by Jimi Hendrix
Released March 1980 (1980-03)
Recorded March–May 1969 and august 1969 at Record Plant Studios and The Hit Factory, New York City
Genre Blues rock, jazz fusion
Length 38:57
Label Polydor 2344 155 (UK)[1]
Reprise (USA) HS 2299[2]
Polydor KI 8007/MPF 1311 (Japan)[2]
Producer Alan Douglas
Jimi Hendrix chronology
The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two
(1979)
Nine to the Universe
(1980)
Woke Up This Morning and Found Myself Dead
(1980)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (B+)[4]

Nine to the Universe is a posthumous tenth studio album of American guitarist Jimi Hendrix, released in March and June 1980 in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively. It was the seventh Hendrix studio album released after his death and the third to be produced by Alan Douglas. The album contains five jam sessions, edited by Douglas. It only charted in one country - the United States, and even then only briefly, reaching 127th on the Top 200 Billboard chart, before dropping out quickly. Various versions of the jams on the LP had previously circulated widely on bootlegs.

Contents

History

Nine to the Universe is the third posthumous Hendrix release produced by Alan Douglas, who had added session musicians to overdub instrumental parts of songs on Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning. It seems that initially Douglas meant to release the jam sessions that Hendrix recorded with John McLaughlin, but McLaughlin refused permission, not comfortable with his own level of playing. In its stead, Douglas released a number of severely edited jam sessions recorded between March and May of 1969,[1] in the process removing some portions of the original backing tracks and musicians.[5]

Musical background

These jams were recorded at a time when Hendrix, finding himself under the influence of the ever expanding musical landscape of the era, was adopting a distinct musical style, which drew on elements from jazz (particularly the jazz rock movement started by Miles Davis) and funk. He had met Davis, and the two had exchanged ideas: two tracks on Hendrix's unfinished First Rays of the New Rising Sun are influenced by Davis, and Davis in turn hired guitar players who "shared Hendrix's fascination with noise."[6] Hendrix also jammed with some of Davis's sidemen, and one of the musicians on Nine to the Universe is Larry Young, an organist who had played with Davis on Bitches Brew and later played with Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin on Love Devotion Surrender.[6] The jams on Nine to the Universe give some credence, albeit in varying degrees, to the proposition that Hendrix "was moving toward jazz in his final years."[1]

Hendrix's jam sessions were only loosely organized and often went late into the night. The jams that ended up on Nine to the Universe were not written or performed as individually named songs; with the exception of "Message from Nine to the Universe" (an early version of what would became "Message of Love,"[2] and also containing "the seeds" of "Earth Blues"[1]), all song titles were made up during the production of the final album.[2]

Musicians

Musicians on this album besides Hendrix and Young include Hendrix regulars Buddy Miles and Mitch Mitchell on drums, Billy Cox on bass, and Larry Lee on rhythm guitar.[2] Given the nature of Hendrix's jams, with many musicians rotating in and out, there is some doubt about some musicians. Some sources give Roland Robinson as bass player on "Jimi/Jimmy Jam,"[7] a song that also features blues guitarist Jim McCarty; Harry Shapiro lists "unknown–not Dave Holland."[2] Backing vocals by Devon Wilson on "Message from Nine to the Universe" were wiped from the original recordings, and an unknown tambourine player was dubbed into "Easy Blues".[2] Verified guitar effects include the Octavia pedal and Univibe.[2]

Musicians on this album besides Hendrix include[8]: Jim McCarty from Buddy Miles Express on guitar, Larry Lee on guitar (his solo was edited out by Douglas. He was one of Hendrix' close early friends in Nashville and member of two of Hendrix' early R&B groups - the 'King Kasuals' and 'The Bonevilles', latterly Al Green's guitarist and musical director), Larry Young on organ (famous R&B & jazz organist, early contributor to crossover "jazz fusion"). Billy Cox (Jimi's early army buddy, musical partner and co-founder of their Nashville band the 'King Kasuals' - the band continued after Jimi left. Dave Holland (famous jazz bassist, who played with Miles Davis amongst others), and Roland Robinson (who played on several of Buddy Miles' later projects) on bass, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Miles from Buddy Miles Express and Rocky Isaacs of the pop group The Cherry People (as was Al Marks - percussion), on drums. Percussionists Juma Sultan and Gerrardo Velez are featured on 'Easy Blues' but their sound in the mix was lowered until almost inaudible and an unknown tambourine player was dubbed in.[2] Verified guitar effects include the Octavia pedal and Univibe.[2]

Release history

The album had been released in Brazil in late 1979 already on Warner-Elektra-Atlantic as Message from Nine to the Universe, with a different cover and song order.[2] It was released on vinyl in 1980 by Polydor (UK) and Reprise (USA). It did not chart in the UK, but in the US the album reached #127 and stayed on the charts for seven weeks.[2] The album itself was never re-released, either on LP or on CD, but bootlegged versions of the unedited jams are available.[1]

The complete and remixed versions of "Jimi/Jimmy Jam"[9] and "Drone Blues" were featured on the 2004 Dagger Records release Hear My Music. A complete, almost 21-minute version of "Young/Hendrix" was released on the 2010 box set West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology, making "Message from Nine to the Universe" and "Easy Blues" the only tracks from the original album that have yet to be re-released in unedited form.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Jimi Hendrix

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Message from Nine to the Universe"   8:45
2. "Jimi/Jimmy Jam"   8:04
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Young/Hendrix"   10:22
2. "Easy Blues"   4:30
3. "Drone Blues"   6:16

Personnel

Recording details

  • Track 1 recorded at Record Plant in New York City, May 22, 1969
  • Track 2 recorded at Record Plant, March 25, 1969
  • Track 3 recorded at Record Plant, April 14, 1969
  • Track 4 recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City, August 28, 1969
  • Track 5 recorded at Record Plant, April 24, 1969

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Doggett, Peter (2004). Jimi Hendrix: the complete guide to his music. Omnibus. pp. 73–74. ISBN 9781844494248. http://books.google.com/books?id=NZC39WzfzG8C&pg=PA73. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Shapiro, Harry; Caesar Glebbeek (1995). Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy (3rd edition ed.). New York: Macmillan. pp. 549–50. ISBN 9780312130626. http://books.google.com/books?id=JB1W2dn31rwC&pg=PA549. 
  3. ^ "Nine to the Universe - Jimi Hendrix | AllMusic". allmusic.com. 2011 [last update]. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r9231. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011 [last update]). "Robert Christgau: Album: Jimi Hendrix: Nine to the Universe". robertchristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=4950. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Geldeart, Gary; Steve Rodham (2007). JJimi Hendrix - the Studio Log: A Complete Chronological Guide to Jimi Hendrix's Studio Recording Sessions. Jimpress. p. 113. ISBN 9780952768647. http://books.google.com/books?id=vH9VLtB3r7UC&pg=PA113. 
  6. ^ a b Craig Hansen, Werner (2006). A change is gonna come: music, race & the soul of America. U of Michigan P. pp. 142–44. ISBN 9780472031474. http://books.google.com/books?id=TRnEdRBTih4C&pg=PA144. 
  7. ^ Henderson, David (2002). 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky: the life of Jimi Hendrix. Omnibus. p. 460. ISBN 9780711994324. http://books.google.com/books?id=jD9YWZCG28IC&pg=PA460. 
  8. ^ McDermot, John (2009). Jimi Hendrix the Ultimate. Backbeat. pp. 134–188. ISBN 978087930. 
  9. ^ Geldeart, Gary; Steve Rodham (2008). Jimi Hendrix - from the Benjamin Franklin Studios 3rd Edition Part 1: The Complete Guide to the Recorded Work of Jimi Hendrix. Jimpress. p. 128. ISBN 9780952768654. http://books.google.com/books?id=JEdeJ6TcNM8C&pg=PA128. 

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