With the power of soul: Jimi Hendrix in Band of Gypsys
Hanford, John Cavanaugh
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Jimi Hendrix's work in Band of Gypsys marked an important stage in his later, post-Experience career. The live recording of Band of Gypsys is a showcase for Hendrix's skills as an improviser and live performing artist. Moreover, analyses made of the four Hendrix pieces included on Band of Gypsys show the composer exploring new musical concepts while he is also drawing on traditional stylistic resources.In addition to focusing on the recordings of "Who Knows," "Machine Gun," "Power to Love," and "Message to Love," this dissertation also uses Band of Gypsys as a platform from which to view Hendrix's larger musical language, exploring aspects of its rich synthesis of traditional and novel stylistic elements.Chapter I gives general historical background relevant to the formation of Band of Gypsys.Chapter II, organized under several topical headings, gives an overview of the highly personalized style that Hendrix developed in both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys. In addition to giving information about Hendrix's equipment and playing techniques, Chapter II deals with signature guitar licks, chords, and other characteristic ways in which Hendrix organizes pitch materials as both composer and improviser. Historical information and representative examples from select recordings accompany the treatments of stylistic elements and playing techniques.Chapter III analyzes "Who Knows" and looks at the piece's performance, stylistic mixture, and possible links to traditional and contemporary sources in blues, rhythm and blues, and jazz.Chapter IV studies "Machine Gun," a celebrated tour de force and a unique fusion of traditional blues and electronic sound painting.Chapter V looks at "Power to Love," a complex work whose composition is rooted in an earlier piece by Ray Charles.Chapter VI investigates "Message to Love," another complex, multi-thematic piece that Hendrix first developed with Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.Chapter VII concludes the study and offers a critical reappraisal of Band of Gypsys as representing a neotraditional work comprising linked traditional and progressive musical features.
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