|Jimi Hendrix - South Saturn Delta|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 07 October 1997|
| Performance 8.5 | Sound 7.5 |
Jimi never got the chance to release his fourth album, a double record, before he departed on that fateful day way back in September of 1970. For over 20 years the music of Jimi Hendrix has been fought over by his record companies and his father, Al Hendrix. Finally, Al Hendrix has won the rights to Jimi music and has re-released the three original records along with increasing amounts of ancillary records like this effort entitled South Saturn Delta.
The Hendrix estate has take great care to make the master tapes sound better then we have ever heard them resulting in obviously better sounding Jimi CD releases. South Saturn Delta contains a compilation of Hendrix material ranging from an alternate version of "All Along The Watchtower" all the way to songs only released on import LPs including cuts like "Pali Gap" and "Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice". The guitar playing is of the highest caliber, creatively ground breaking with sweeping passages, burning solos and 3 part rhythms that after 12 years of guitar study and a University of Southern California Music Degree, I still can't quite figure out.
The song writing or I should say the production isn't quite up to the level that you would find on the three first records. Obviously, Jimi never had the time to be a perfectionist with this final project. It has been rumored that many of these last songs featured studio musicians to fill out the tracks. None the less, as a huge Jimi Hendrix fan, I am satisfied with the resolute and dynamic sonics on this record plus the fact that I can - once and for all - throw away the crapy CDR and bootleg copies of the records I had archived these songs on. South Saturn Delta may have been 20 years in the making but it is worth the wait.