Friday, August 3, 2007

Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Sun Ra, Roland Kirk...

Note: I found this on the fantastic site, I have no clue how much of this is speculation, but it sure is one interesting read, check it out of you have some time:

Jimi & Miles played together quite a few times, tho' never in a
formal setting. On one of the bootleg tapes I heard (there are quite
a few), Miles is on the piano & Jimi on guitar plugged into a tiny
amp. This jam is taking place at one of Miles' infamous parties in
his upper NYC townhouse/apartment. Most of the playing is drowned out
by the voices & chatter of the party crowd & it's not really a jam
session. It's more of a learning session for Jimi. Clearly all
through the jam, Jimi is lost most of the time, as Miles is comping
through extensive jazz chording while yelling out the key changes to
Jimi who is playing confusingly on top of the changes. The only time
in this jam he relaxes & stretches out is when Miles periodically
comps on one chord. Velvert Turner had 2 such informal recordings
from Jimi's own recorder of Miles & Jimi from other time periods.

This jam takes place around the time Jimi was getting more into jazz
extensively, which is why he dug Larry Young so much. Larry was
forcing him to delve more into jazz as well as forcing him to listen
closely to Larry Coryell's playing. Young's drummer at the time, Tony
Williams, actually got up & walked out in the middle of one of their
jam sessions, yelling out to Jimi that he didn't know his instrument
& to learn the language of jazz! ......I have posted on this board a
few times how Quincy Jones (who was also close to Jimi) convinced
Jimi to take the Berklee College of Music's correspondence course,
for arranging, composition & theory.

Actually, I didn't want to dive back into this debate, but since someone used an old quote of mine on this thread, I said 'what the hell'. In my 30 or so years of doing lecture/demonstrations about Jimi on radio, TV & at colleges, I take on all challenges......

I've always maintained emphatically that for the most part, either the wrong folks have written books about Jimi or that the right folks were never COMPREHENSIBLY interviewed.

Folks like:

(1) the Allen twins, Tundre Ra & Taharka, who would not only verify the Miles meetings, but more importantly verify the spiritual teaching that MOST folks, even on this board, say Jimi was NOT into (because Jimi himself turned these 2 guys onto the teachings which they still follow today). Their very names reflect this teaching.

(2) Velvert Turner, who in my opinion is one of the 3 main folks really qualified to write about Hendrix with any accuracy. It's a real tragedy that no one felt it necessary to really document his days with Jimi.

(3) Quincy Jones, who is not only left out of the list of Jimi's closest friends, but is singlehandedly responsible for getting Jimi & Miles back together as friends after Betty Davis got caught in the affair she supposedly never had with Jimi. Even Alan Douglas verifies how Quincy was going to be actively involved in Jimi/Miles sessions that were upcoming. Considering what Quincy did for Michael Jackson, his work with Jimi would've been astounding.

(4) Super bassist/multimusician/model Cleo......A "secret weapon" of Jimi's he was grooming to be the spearhead of his new Electric Lady movement. He spoke & wrote about her countless times. The only folks I ever heard mention her is Velvert (who unsuccessfully tried to 'date' her), Vishwa & Monika. After the death of another close Jimi friend Tom Nitelife, she acquired all of the writings, audio tapes & scripts Jimi left Tom when he found out he was being constantly followed. According to her, she & Betty had a 'cat fight' at one of the parties while Jimi & Miles was in the bedroom playing softly.

Miles' townhouse parties were not closed affairs. They usually spilled out into the uptown streets. Anyone who was hanging in the city at the times of these parties knew about them by 'word of mouth' & for the most part, anyone could simply walk in uninvited. Aside from Jimi's acquaintances, a simple interview with any musician close to Miles, not only during that time but in Mile's later years (Marcus Miller especially), would once & for all lay to rest this debate of Jimi & Miles informally playing together. Miles himself talked about it many a time. I personally have heard some mindblowing stories of Jimi & Miles hanging/playing informally together by quite a few musicians who played with Miles. Hendrix was a topic Miles never got tired of discussing.

It is also a major myth that no tapes of these informal jams exist. There were quite a few audiophiles who made it their duty to follow Jimi around & tape him. A couple of them have approached me on gigs & either let me hear samples of these jams or invited me to their place to hear some of these tapes. And yea, they are definitely worth 'killing for' (altho' that's not my style). I couldn't even get copies of what I heard. They're priceless & the acquisition of these & other famous folks 'lost tapes' is itself a worldwide underground 'black market' that would rival the drug trade.

As I type this, I am frantically Googling in the early '70's Downbeat magazine archives for an article that comes to my mind of Miles mentioning this very topic.......So far no luck.

Also, I was not the only member of Jimi's fan club at that time. I'm sure with today's technology, it is possible to track down other members of the fan club from that era (68-70). My efforts in this endeavor have not been so successful, as the 2 members I did track down (one of them from my H.S.) are both now dead.....My point is tho' that as I have said on this board before, we (the fan club) prided ourselves as having the most comprehensive "Jimi Watch" on the planet at that time. We knew basically his every move while he was on the east coast/mid west areas & would make attempts to catch up to him at those times, even if it meant us skipping H.S. classes if it was a school day.

Bottom line..... regarding Jimi & Miles informally jamming, I know what I saw & I vehemently stand by it. What we have to do as Jimi fans is not fall into the typical 'Western arrogance' that says "If I don't hear it, see it nor heard about it, then it doesn't exist".

Research always rewards the seeker~!

Hey JDB......Thanx for the compliment....... I don't post to give the vibe that I am THE authority on Jimi Hendrix. True, I was around that scene, but there is much I don't know & have learned from guys like you & others on these boards, as well as folks with more info than me who approach me on gigs, E-mails me, etc....I'm an avid researcher/documentarian, so I just take it all in.

Personally, the gossip & surmising about him doesn't interest me. I'm more interested in that "thing" he played IN BETWEEN the notes of his music. This 'thing' has a lot to do with the fascination we have about this guy today & is something us players can tap into for our own ascension~!

Regarding the folks I mentioned & some others with more complete knowledge of Hendrix who haven't published a book/been interviewed in detail, don't be resentful towards them. Believe me, they would love to throw in their 2 cents, but the truth is no one who has the clout to publish a book is interested in hearing what they got to say. When I last spoke to Velvert, he spoke a lot about trying to get his manuscripts published with no luck. I have seen him interviewed on a few Jimi docs, but that was the guy to sit down & comprehensibly 'grill', since I have said here in the past, those 2 were like brothers (or as some have surmised, 'luvers'). I once called Quincy on a radio talk show where he was one of the panelist & asked him to speak about his relationship with Jimi. He giggled & said "next question". Not sure what's up with that.
"Voodoo Child"- The ONLY authentic Jimi Hendrix show since 1968.

Watch for the announcement on the
web of the unauthorized film based
on Hendrix, presented by Jimy Bleu.

Hey Brent....Good hearin' from you again.....I'm still trying to figure how you did that kool multi-quote thingie in your response. My attempts didn't turn out good, so I'm just going to respond regularly.

Regarding the teachings Jimi got into before his death. It is NOT related to the Book of Urantia. It is the teachings from the ancient Nile Valley (more erroneously called "ancient Egypt"). This was the major importance of his meetings with Rashaan Kirk (more than the jamming), especially the 2nd meeting. Kirk gave him the contact number for a group in Harlem headed by Sun Ra, that practiced these teachings. I already spoke here about Jimi & Sun Ra meeting. The twins told me personally that Jimi not only turned them on to these same teachings, but that he gave them money to form their own record label, but only if they would call the label "Nia Records", which they did. Both of their first names (Tunde Ra & Taharqa) are indigenous names from these teachings.

Regarding Kramer....Thanx for the info on the Kramer film. I'm looking into that.

Regarding Quincy......Just when he hooked up with Michael in the '80's, I was doing sideman clubdate gigs with a fantastic keyboardist who later got a producer's job on Quincy's label & toured with Michael. He was a Hendrix freak & when Quincy found out, divulged much info on his closeness with Jimi. At first I thought it was all talk, but some of things he said Quincy told him I was able to verify, which I won't get into now. There is also Henderson's accounts of their friendship in his book (but of course Henderson is not so well liked here), as well as Alan Douglas's occasional mentions of Quincy & Jimi.

Regarding Tom Nitelife.....briefly he was a hustler/pimp who not only supplied Jimi with drugs, ladies for his orgies, but the important things he did was first act as a go-between for Hendrix's reps & the Mob who didn't want Jimi putting his studio in that Village location. Later Tom acted as negotiator for Jimi during his 2nd kidnapping which was much more deadlier than the first supposedly staged one. Tom died just before Jimi. Jimi literally owed him his life & knew he could trust him with many valuable writings & tapes. From what Cleo told me about the tapes, they were mostly songs/script/lyrical ideas. The biggest thing to come from these particular writings was the REAL "Black Gold" film script Jimi submitted to Warner's right before his death. Totally different synopsis & music than what is purported in different books on this subject.

Regarding Mile's parties.....Uh uhh.... I ain't gettin' into that again....Apparently myself, Steven Roby, Charles Cross, Henderson & others are wrong about Jimi & Miles meeting/playing together informally, so I'm not gonna chase it. I'll leave it at that~!

Regarding the audiophiles.......Ahh, I forgot I mentioned Matt. There is also Flip Pfizer (supposedly related to the heir of the Pfizer drug corporation) & Donny Kincade. These guys immediately come to mind, but there were many others I have met throughout the years. Actually, I don't think Jimi was aware of most of the folks who were taping. Most of the taping was done covertly (like today's bootleggers in theaters). There were some who sought out permission so they could set up & get a good quality recording, either with mics up front or from the soundboard, but for the most part it was all about getting a mini reel tape set up under a chair & hope for the best. I remember seeing that kind of bootleg taping a lot & not only in Hendrix shows, but in other shows I often attended (Zep, GFR, Cream, Yes, Floyd, Sly, Dead, etc.). I imagine that my fav site 'You Tube' will soon have much of this stuff uploaded.

As far as me still in contact with some of these audiophiles, not really. When I hear something they have, I want it & when I can't get a copy it's real frustrating. Sought of like a gorgeous lady undressing in front of you, playing with herself & she's not going to let you get with her. I'm sure you can relate~!!

Regarding the first quote of mine you posted, this debate has become a sort of silly "he said, she said" & as I previously stated, I ain't gonna chase it no more & leave it at that. I really don't wanna become the "bad guy" of this site & as I said earlier, I wasn't going to bring this up again, but quotes of mine were posted recently in response to someone's query.

Regarding the second quote of mine you posted pertaining to my statement not being "serious"..... Hhhmmm.......Well, since you speak for these all-knowing "some members of the forum" you mentioned, perhaps you or them would know where I can pick up copies of:

(1) Hendrix jamming with Joe chambers
(2) Hendrix jamming with Hugh Masekela,
(3) the COMPLETE 'blowout' series of Hendrix jamming with Winter at the Scene
(4) the SECOND Rashaan Kirk Jam.
(5) the deep discussion of music AFTER the Stevie Wonder jam (which Stevie himself is trying to get a copy of)
(6) Hendrix's frequent jamming with Velvert Turner
(7) Hendrix's jams with Arthur Lee
( Hendrix jamming with a couple of members of Vanilla Fudge (actually, guitarist Vince Martell told me about this when my Hendrix tribute band played on the same bill with them at the Woodstock 25th anniversary in '94)
(9) Hendrix's blues jams with Albert King backstage at the Fillmore
(10) Hendrix jamming backstage with Terry Kath & 2 other members of 'Chicago' while on tour........

These are only 10 examples I dug from my notes of what I heard with my own ears, with the exception of #8. I could go on & on but you get my point.....There were (& STILL are) folks who do nothing but follow great musicians around taping them, many a time without the musician's knowledge. Just as in the art world, ancient artifacts, etc., there is a worldwide illegal underground market that deals in not only recordings/videos/films of this sort, but other paraphernalia related to these musicians. I have met quite a few of these people involved in this market & have heard many 'unknown' informal recordings of jazz, classical, country, pop, experimental musicians.

For one to deny the existence of this market because one hasn't heard of it is naive to say the least & is a good example of a phrase I mentioned a few posts back....."Western arrogance".