How are we supposed to feel about the seemingly endless plundering of this man's grave? The tape vaults are apparently still fertile ground for the picking if this latest posthumous Jimi Hendrix release is any indication. Certainly Hendrix himself would disapprove of his unfinished material reaching the masses, but he is most decidedly dead and has no say in the matter. His carefully-crafted official works will always be readily available. So now we are privy to previously unheard and unadorned recordings. I say, "Hooray!" Why not celebrate the unsurpassed genius of rock's ultimate guitar player? What better way than to listen in on his creative process and catch him at his improvisational best? Sure, he could craft studio recordings that sound more "professional" than Valleys of Neptune. But those albums have little of this one's raw intensity.
The producers of this document of studio scraps carefully assembled a running order that flows as a listenable album. It launches with a groove-based version of "Stone Free" — an enlightening re-interpretation of a song that was at least a couple of years old by the time this recording was made. The title track follows closely behind and it is clearly a work-in-progress. Goofy lyrics are delivered without complete conviction. So what? Inarguably, we are here for the guitar playing and there is a generous dose of that on this song and throughout the release. Another re-working comes in the form of "Bleeding Heart" along with soloing of the sort that only Hendrix could produce. Other than the voice, the electric guitar is perhaps the most expressive tool available in popular music and here we witness it enjoying its maximum glory at the hands of its acknowledged maestro.