Jimi Hendrix's Sideman Recordings with Curtis Knight Reissued

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 18, 2015

Jimi Hendrix's career didn't properly get underway until 1967, by which point he had already spent some time as a backing musician. One of the legendary guitarist's early gigs was with Harlem R&B group Curtis Knight & the Squires, and it's his time with this band that will serve as the basis for a new archival compilation. You Can't Use My Name: Curtis Knight & the Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions will be out on March 24 through Experience Hendrix L.L.C./Legacy Recordings.

These 14 tracks were culled from sessions between 1965 and 1967. A press release notes that Hendrix composed the instrumentals "Hornet's Nest" and "Knock Yourself Out (Flying on Instruments)." He's also credited as the arranger on a couple tunes.

These tracks spent many years wrapped up in litigation, since an allegedly deceptive contract from producer Ed Chalpin (owner of the company PPX) resulted in him attempting to claim ownership over Hendrix's later output. Additionally, Chaplin released this material by Curtis Knight & the Squires and inaccurately credited Hendrix as the primary artist.

Jimi's family finally won their legal claims against Chaplin and PPX in 2003 and acquired rights to the recordings, which have been restored and remixed for maximum audio quality. Tellingly, the track "You Can't Use My Name" consists of studio chatter from the 1967 session, as Hendrix warns Chaplin not to use his name to market the recording.

"We are extremely delighted to now be in a position to offer these rare, historic recordings," said Jimi's sister Janie in a statement. "What makes them 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. They are more than just recordings, they represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi's musical existence."

You Can't Use My Name: Curtis Knight & the Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions:

1. How Would You Feel

2. Gotta Have a New Dress

3. Don't Accuse Me

4. Fool for You Baby

5. No Such Animal

6. Welcome Home

7. Knock Yourself Out (Flying on Instruments)

8. Simon Says

9. Station Break

10. Strange Things

11. Hornet's Nest

12. You Don't Want Me

13. You Can't Use My Name

14. Gloomy Monday

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