Gil Evans: Jazzing Up Jimi

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Meanwhile Alan Douglas, the man who tried to make a musical partnership of Jimi Hendrix and Gil Evans, is wrestling with a few problems of his own – like 600 tapes with another 200 on their way up to his Shaggy Dog Studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The tapes are all Jimi Hendrix – Jimi in the studio, Jimi jamming, Jimi in concert – and together have been insured by Douglas for half a million dollars. Now it's the job of Douglas and the people from the old Mike Jeffrey's office (Jeffrey was Hendrix's manager and died in a plane crash a couple of years ago) to sort and sift the best of Hendrix from it all.

Says Douglas: "There's about one and a half to two years of recording here. When Jimi died they just skimmed the top of it but nobody went into the tapes. There's some superb stuff in here if we can find it, interesting jams and so on. There's a jam with John McLaughlin, one with Taj Mahal somewhere. Some work he did with some of the people from Traffic, musicians who just dropped into the studio.

"We're collecting the entire library from all over the world – films, too. With all the goofs and false starts, we reckon there's about 20 minutes to half an hour of good music on each tape. It's a lot of drudgery but when you get lucky and pull some goodies out, it makes up for it all."

Douglas reckons the project will take him and his staff about a year to complete. Also planned: a film treatment and a book about the late, great, sorely missed Jimi Hendrix.

This is a story from the July 18th, 1974 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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