Yes­ter­day I quot­ed Dvořák say­ing (in 1893) “I am con­vinced that the fu­ture mu­sic of this coun­try must be found­ed on what are called Ne­gro melodies. Th­ese can be the foun­da­tion of a se­ri­ous and orig­i­nal school of com­po­si­tion, to be de­vel­oped in the Unit­ed States. Th­ese beau­ti­ful and var­ied themes are the prod­uct of the soil. They are the folk songs of Amer­i­ca and your com­posers must turn to them.” Some­how he failed to pre­dict that America’s com­posers would be what they called “Negros” back then. I want to rec­om­mend one piece by such a com­poser: Lit­tle Wing, by Ji­mi Hen­drix.

Axis: Bold as Love

I’ve felt a lit­tle guilty not hav­ing Hen­drix in SotD, but there’s a prob­lem; his record­ings don’t do that much for me. The on­ly one I’ve ac­tu­al­ly lis­tened to for plea­sure in re­cent decades is Band of Gyp­sys and it’s fine, but so slop­py. Lit­tle Wing though, over the years it’s be­come a paint­brush that oth­er artists have used to write slash­es of mu­si­cal fire across the sky.

There’s not much to say about the song; typ­i­cal­ly spaced-out Hen­drix lyric­s, cool chord changes and bits of melody. I’m sav­ing space for links, of which there are a lot.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. Hendrix’s ver­sion: iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon.

Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an is ut­ter­ly soul­ful: iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon.

Lit­tle Wing is on Lay­la with nice gui­tars, but it’s pon­der­ous, es­pe­cial­ly the vo­cal. But there’s an ace ver­sion on the Clap­ton/Win­wood Live at Madi­son Square Gar­den, with the best parts of the Lay­la ar­range­ment and both guys in good voice: iTunes Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon.

Nigel Kennedy, the bad-boy Brit vi­o­lin­ist, did an al­bum of Hen­drix cov­er­s, which is dreamy and en­joy­able but not re­al­ly es­sen­tial  —  I caught the tour and that was bet­ter, Hey Joe was so sad it brought tears to my eye­s. But Lit­tle Wing is the album’s high­light: iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon.

As for live per­for­mances, here are Nigel Kennedy, Clap­ton/Win­wood, and fi­nal­ly Jeff Beck feat. Nara­da Michael Walden on drums and vo­cal­s; tasty.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: masse (Jun 05 2018, at 09:42)

stevie ray's "little wing" is just amazing. raw skill, taste, and fluidity.


From: David (Jun 07 2018, at 09:17)

Did you listen to the Radio One Hendrix live album at all? He really seems to have fun on those recordings


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June 03, 2018
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