Jimi Hendrix plays a fluid, bluesy guitar solo on an instrumental R&B song called “Station Break,” which he recorded during his 1965 stint with Curtis Knight and the Squires. The song is streaming on The Daily Beast. The two-and-a-half-minute track, which has never previously been released, will appear on the upcoming release, You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight and the Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions, which is due out March 24th.
The 14-tune compilation is just a sample of the 88-song catalogue the Hendrix estate acquired last summer. Longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer remixed the oft-bootlegged tracks to make the best representation of what they sounded like.
“What makes [the recordings] so special is that they provide an honest look at a great artist during the pivotal time when he was on the cusp of his breakthrough, a time when Jimi’s Number One priority was playing and recording, and this set captures him doing just that, both as a collaborator and an innovator,” Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, said in a statement. “They are more than just recordings, they represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi’s musical existence.”
Hendrix made the recordings as a sideman between 1965 and 1967 for PPX Enterprises. To play on the sessions, the guitarist had signed an extremely prohibitive and restrictive contract with PPX owner Ed Chalpin, who paid Hendrix $1 and a 1 percent royalty. When Hendrix broke out with Are You Experienced?, his manager (and Animals bassist) Chas Chandler attempted to liberate him from the deal to no avail, and Chalpin began flooding the market with Curtis Knight recordings billed as official Hendrix releases.
Hendrix told Rolling Stone in 1968 when PPX began circulating the recordings that he considered them “musically worthless…a confetti of tapes hastily thrown together.” His estate continued to engage in legal quarrels with Chalpin well after his death. “It’s been hours and hours of intensive work but it’s truly been fun to find the best performances and to make sense out of them,” Kramer said in a statement.