The Grandfather of Rap and Jimi Hendrix: part 4

"(excerpted from the Grandfather's forthcoming book: Lightnin' Rod and Jimi Hendrix : The title of the track was " Doriella Du Fontaine" 1968 was the year in which Jimi Hendrix attempted to push his music into as many simultaneous directions as possible, much to the chagrin of his managment, who wanted him to stick with the winning Experience formula. An irrepressible improviser, Hendrix not only jammed with his blues-rock peers (Johnny Winter, Clapton, Bloomfield, Winwood, etc.) but also made inroads into jazz, swapping notes with John Mclaughlin and Larry Coryell, and discussing recording projects with Miles Davis, Roland Kirk and Gil Evans.

That year too, he made an album with Arthur Lee's band "Love" and hooked up with another black music original, Jalal of the Last Poets to record with a track called "Doriella Du Fontaine".

The band assembled for this one-off collected together music under the name of Lightnin' Rod, was the prototype for Hendrix's Band of Gypsies, launched the following year.

Bassist Billy Cox was a pal from Hendrix's army days, and drummer Buddy Miles, had played with the guitarist when both were sidemen for Wilson Pickett.

On organ at this session was Larry Young, subsequently a member of Tony Williams trailblazing band "Lifetime" a unit in which John McLaughlin would incorporate adaptations of Hendrix's innovations.

And indeed, it would not be far-fetched to claim that a cross-cultural synthesis is already at play on this 1968 recording.

For all of it's obvious "jam session" informality and rough edges, "Doriella Du Fontaine" sounds extraordinarily fresh.