jimi hendrix and sun ra
jimi hendrix and sun ra
looking for something else, and came across this... sorry about the
longness of the post!
Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Sun Ra, Roland Kirk…
March 3, 2010 Sound Colour Vibration Leave a comment Go to comments
Note: I found this on the fantastic site
http://www.electricskychurch.org, which as of now is non operational.
I have no clue how much of this is speculation, but it sure is one
interesting read, check it out if you have some time:
Jimi & Miles played together quite a few times, tho’ never in a formal
setting. On one of the bootleg tapes I heard (there are quite a few),
Miles is on the piano & Jimi on guitar plugged into a tiny amp. This
jam is taking place at one of Miles’ infamous parties in his upper NYC
townhouse/apartment. Most of the playing is drowned out by the voices
& chatter of the party crowd & it’s not really a jam session. It’s
more of a learning session for Jimi. Clearly all through the jam, Jimi
is lost most of the time, as Miles is comping through extensive jazz
chording while yelling out the key changes to Jimi who is playing
confusingly on top of the changes. The only time in this jam he
relaxes & stretches out is when Miles periodically comps on one chord.
Velvert Turner had 2 such informal recordings from Jimi’s own recorder
of Miles & Jimi from other time periods.
This jam takes place around the time Jimi was getting more into jazz
extensively, which is why he dug Larry Young so much. Larry was
forcing him to delve more into jazz as well as forcing him to listen
closely to Larry Coryell’s playing. Young’s drummer at the time, Tony
Williams, actually got up & walked out in the middle of one of their
jam sessions, yelling out to Jimi that he didn’t know his instrument &
to learn the language of jazz! ……I have posted on this board a few
times how Quincy Jones (who was also close to Jimi) convinced Jimi to
take the Berklee College of Music’s correspondence course, for
arranging, composition & theory.
Actually, I didn’t want to dive back into this debate, but since
someone used an old quote of mine on this thread, I said ‘what the
hell’. In my 30 or so years of doing lecture/demonstrations about Jimi
on radio, TV & at colleges, I take on all challenges……
I’ve always maintained emphatically that for the most part, either the
wrong folks have written books about Jimi or that the right folks were
never COMPREHENSIBLY interviewed.
(1) the Allen twins, Tundre Ra & Taharka, who would not only verify
the Miles meetings, but more importantly verify the spiritual teaching
that MOST folks, even on this board, say Jimi was NOT into (because
Jimi himself turned these 2 guys onto the teachings which they still
follow today). Their very names reflect this teaching.
(2) Velvert Turner, who in my opinion is one of the 3 main folks
really qualified to write about Hendrix with any accuracy. It’s a real
tragedy that no one felt it necessary to really document his days with
(3) Quincy Jones, who is not only left out of the list of Jimi’s
closest friends, but is singlehandedly responsible for getting Jimi &
Miles back together as friends after Betty Davis got caught in the
affair she supposedly never had with Jimi. Even Alan Douglas verifies
how Quincy was going to be actively involved in Jimi/Miles sessions
that were upcoming. Considering what Quincy did for Michael Jackson,
his work with Jimi would’ve been astounding.
(4) Super bassist/multimusician/model Cleo……A “secret weapon” of
Jimi’s he was grooming to be the spearhead of his new Electric Lady
movement. He spoke & wrote about her countless times. The only folks I
ever heard mention her is Velvert (who unsuccessfully tried to ‘date’
her), Vishwa & Monika. After the death of another close Jimi friend
Tom Nitelife, she acquired all of the writings, audio tapes & scripts
Jimi left Tom when he found out he was being constantly followed.
According to her, she & Betty had a ‘cat fight’ at one of the parties
while Jimi & Miles was in the bedroom playing softly.
Miles’ townhouse parties were not closed affairs. They usually spilled
out into the uptown streets. Anyone who was hanging in the city at the
times of these parties knew about them by ‘word of mouth’ & for the
most part, anyone could simply walk in uninvited. Aside from Jimi’s
acquaintances, a simple interview with any musician close to Miles,
not only during that time but in Mile’s later years (Marcus Miller
especially), would once & for all lay to rest this debate of Jimi &
Miles informally playing together. Miles himself talked about it many
a time. I personally have heard some mindblowing stories of Jimi &
Miles hanging/playing informally together by quite a few musicians who
played with Miles. Hendrix was a topic Miles never got tired of
It is also a major myth that no tapes of these informal jams exist.
There were quite a few audiophiles who made it their duty to follow
Jimi around & tape him. A couple of them have approached me on gigs &
either let me hear samples of these jams or invited me to their place
to hear some of these tapes. And yea, they are definitely worth
‘killing for’ (altho’ that’s not my style). I couldn’t even get copies
of what I heard. They’re priceless & the acquisition of these & other
famous folks ‘lost tapes’ is itself a worldwide underground ‘black
market’ that would rival the drug trade.
As I type this, I am frantically Googling in the early ’70′s Downbeat
magazine archives for an article that comes to my mind of Miles
mentioning this very topic…….So far no luck.
Also, I was not the only member of Jimi’s fan club at that time. I’m
sure with today’s technology, it is possible to track down other
members of the fan club from that era (68-70). My efforts in this
endeavor have not been so successful, as the 2 members I did track
down (one of them from my H.S.) are both now dead…..My point is tho’
that as I have said on this board before, we (the fan club) prided
ourselves as having the most comprehensive “Jimi Watch” on the planet
at that time. We knew basically his every move while he was on the
east coast/mid west areas & would make attempts to catch up to him at
those times, even if it meant us skipping H.S. classes if it was a
Bottom line….. regarding Jimi & Miles informally jamming, I know what
I saw & I vehemently stand by it. What we have to do as Jimi fans is
not fall into the typical ‘Western arrogance’ that says “If I don’t
hear it, see it nor heard about it, then it doesn’t exist”.
Research always rewards the seeker~!
Hey JDB……Thanx for the compliment……. I don’t post to give the vibe
that I am THE authority on Jimi Hendrix. True, I was around that
scene, but there is much I don’t know & have learned from guys like
you & others on these boards, as well as folks with more info than me
who approach me on gigs, E-mails me, etc….I’m an avid
researcher/documentarian, so I just take it all in.
Personally, the gossip & surmising about him doesn’t interest me. I’m
more interested in that “thing” he played IN BETWEEN the notes of his
music. This ‘thing’ has a lot to do with the fascination we have about
this guy today & is something us players can tap into for our own
Regarding the folks I mentioned & some others with more complete
knowledge of Hendrix who haven’t published a book/been interviewed in
detail, don’t be resentful towards them. Believe me, they would love
to throw in their 2 cents, but the truth is no one who has the clout
to publish a book is interested in hearing what they got to say. When
I last spoke to Velvert, he spoke a lot about trying to get his
manuscripts published with no luck. I have seen him interviewed on a
few Jimi docs, but that was the guy to sit down & comprehensibly
‘grill’, since I have said here in the past, those 2 were like
brothers (or as some have surmised, ‘luvers’). I once called Quincy on
a radio talk show where he was one of the panelist & asked him to
speak about his relationship with Jimi. He giggled & said “next
question”. Not sure what’s up with that.
“Voodoo Child”- The ONLY authentic Jimi Hendrix show since 1968.
Regarding the teachings Jimi got into before his death. It is NOT
related to the Book of Urantia. It is the teachings from the ancient
Nile Valley (more erroneously called “ancient Egypt”). This was the
major importance of his meetings with Rashaan Kirk (more than the
jamming), especially the 2nd meeting. Kirk gave him the contact number
for a group in Harlem headed by Sun Ra, that practiced these
teachings. I already spoke here about Jimi & Sun Ra meeting. The twins
told me personally that Jimi not only turned them on to these same
teachings, but that he gave them money to form their own record label,
but only if they would call the label “Nia Records”, which they did.
Both of their first names (Tunde Ra & Taharqa) are indigenous names
from these teachings.
Regarding Kramer….Thanx for the info on the Kramer film. I’m looking into that.
Regarding Quincy……Just when he hooked up with Michael in the ’80′s, I
was doing sideman clubdate gigs with a fantastic keyboardist who later
got a producer’s job on Quincy’s label & toured with Michael. He was a
Hendrix freak & when Quincy found out, divulged much info on his
closeness with Jimi. At first I thought it was all talk, but some of
things he said Quincy told him I was able to verify, which I won’t get
into now. There is also Henderson’s accounts of their friendship in
his book (but of course Henderson is not so well liked here), as well
as Alan Douglas’s occasional mentions of Quincy & Jimi.
Regarding Tom Nitelife…..briefly he was a hustler/pimp who not only
supplied Jimi with drugs, ladies for his orgies, but the important
things he did was first act as a go-between for Hendrix’s reps & the
Mob who didn’t want Jimi putting his studio in that Village location.
Later Tom acted as negotiator for Jimi during his 2nd kidnapping which
was much more deadlier than the first supposedly staged one. Tom died
just before Jimi. Jimi literally owed him his life & knew he could
trust him with many valuable writings & tapes. From what Cleo told me
about the tapes, they were mostly songs/script/lyrical ideas. The
biggest thing to come from these particular writings was the REAL
“Black Gold” film script Jimi submitted to Warner’s right before his
death. Totally different synopsis & music than what is purported in
different books on this subject.
Regarding Mile’s parties…..Uh uhh…. I ain’t gettin’ into that
again….Apparently myself, Steven Roby, Charles Cross, Henderson &
others are wrong about Jimi & Miles meeting/playing together
informally, so I’m not gonna chase it. I’ll leave it at that~!
Regarding the audiophiles…….Ahh, I forgot I mentioned Matt. There is
also Flip Pfizer (supposedly related to the heir of the Pfizer drug
corporation) & Donny Kincade. These guys immediately come to mind, but
there were many others I have met throughout the years. Actually, I
don’t think Jimi was aware of most of the folks who were taping. Most
of the taping was done covertly (like today’s bootleggers in
theaters). There were some who sought out permission so they could set
up & get a good quality recording, either with mics up front or from
the soundboard, but for the most part it was all about getting a mini
reel tape set up under a chair & hope for the best. I remember seeing
that kind of bootleg taping a lot & not only in Hendrix shows, but in
other shows I often attended (Zep, GFR, Cream, Yes, Floyd, Sly, Dead,
etc.). I imagine that my fav site ‘You Tube’ will soon have much of
this stuff uploaded.
As far as me still in contact with some of these audiophiles, not
really. When I hear something they have, I want it & when I can’t get
a copy it’s real frustrating. Sought of like a gorgeous lady
undressing in front of you, playing with herself & she’s not going to
let you get with her. I’m sure you can relate~!!
Regarding the first quote of mine you posted, this debate has become a
sort of silly “he said, she said” & as I previously stated, I ain’t
gonna chase it no more & leave it at that. I really don’t wanna become
the “bad guy” of this site & as I said earlier, I wasn’t going to
bring this up again, but quotes of mine were posted recently in
response to someone’s query.
Regarding the second quote of mine you posted pertaining to my
statement not being “serious”….. Hhhmmm…….Well, since you speak for
these all-knowing “some members of the forum” you mentioned, perhaps
you or them would know where I can pick up copies of:
(1) Hendrix jamming with Joe chambers
(2) Hendrix jamming with Hugh Masekela,
(3) the COMPLETE ‘blowout’ series of Hendrix jamming with Winter at the Scene
(4) the SECOND Rashaan Kirk Jam.
(5) the deep discussion of music AFTER the Stevie Wonder jam (which
Stevie himself is trying to get a copy of)
(6) Hendrix’s frequent jamming with Velvert Turner
(7) Hendrix’s jams with Arthur Lee
( Hendrix jamming with a couple of members of Vanilla Fudge (actually,
guitarist Vince Martell told me about this when my Hendrix tribute
band played on the same bill with them at the Woodstock 25th
anniversary in ’94)
(9) Hendrix’s blues jams with Albert King backstage at the Fillmore
(10) Hendrix jamming backstage with Terry Kath & 2 other members of
‘Chicago’ while on tour……..
These are only 10 examples I dug from my notes of what I heard with my
own ears, with the exception of #8. I could go on & on but you get my
point…..There were (& STILL are) folks who do nothing but follow great
musicians around taping them, many a time without the musician’s
knowledge. Just as in the art world, ancient artifacts, etc., there is
a worldwide illegal underground market that deals in not only
recordings/videos/films of this sort, but other paraphernalia related
to these musicians. I have met quite a few of these people involved in
this market & have heard many ‘unknown’ informal recordings of jazz,
classical, country, pop, experimental musicians.
For one to deny the existence of this market because one hasn’t heard
of it is naive to say the least & is a good example of a phrase I
mentioned a few posts back…..”Western arrogance”.
Categories: Blast From The Plast
Comments (7) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback
November 22, 2010 at 6:11 am | #1
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It would be awesome if you put a bunch of these rare recordings
out as a torrent or something. I don’t have the background or
connections to have ever heard a lot of this stuff originally (or even
as part of the tape-trading network you mention) but I’d still love to
Sound Colour Vibration
November 22, 2010 at 6:44 am | #2
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Indeed, we will start a new section on our site soon with
megaupload links to our favorite rare recordings :) thanks for
checking us out
November 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm | #3
Reply | Quote
Thanks so much, Erik. If there’s any tapes of Jimi and Miles, I’d
LOVE to hear ‘em. I don’t doubt that these exist in SOMEONE’S hands–
getting them heard is what the net was made for!
Sound Colour Vibration
November 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm | #4
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very cool site btw just checked out some of the last articles
posted, we will be offering Miles Davis recordings very soon, stay
December 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm | #5
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if you are interested by jimi hendrix, the doors, quincy jones,
ennio morricone, bernard herrmann, kurt weill, john coltrane, miles
davis… written in french but with many links to music from you tube…
you can visit my blog mukzi.blogspot.com
January 6, 2012 at 12:43 am | #6
Reply | Quote
An intern at my studio recently found this thread & forwarded it
to me (one of those instances where you never know what you’ll find on
the web)……I am the person who wrote these posts on the
Since writing this, I’ve personally befriended some of the folks
mentioned in the post, Alan Douglas &Vince Martell, both of whom I’ve
interviewed on my weekly FM radio show (Vince’s band & my band have
since done a few gigs together). I’ve also befriended one of Tom
Nitelife’s sons & David Henderson, thanks to Juma Sultan, so I’ve been
able to verify much information that I had only heard, read or
surmised after piecing ‘clues’ together in the Hendrix story.
What I didn’t say in the posts is that as a student of Performing
Arts high school in Manhattan 1967-71, the school was visited by quite
a few notaries in the then booming music scene. Some of the folks I
can recall from notes taken back then are Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra,
Rahsaan Kirk, Cat Anderson (Duke Ellington’s star trumpeter), Oscar
Peterson, Alice Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Gil Evans, Dizzy, Max
Roach, Slam Stewart, Herbie Mann, Mingus, Larry Young & J.J.
Johnson…..As an active member of Hendrix’s fan club 1968-71 (which was
then operated right out of Mike Jefferies Warner-Reprise office), a
few of us from the fan club were responsible for having Jimi speak
very informally at our school for a small assembly, thanks to our jazz
band teacher, because Jimi was not a popular candidate for speaking at
our school according to the conservative faculty.
I mention these names because with almost all of them, when they
did speak for our assembly, myself or someone else would always ask a
‘Hendrix-based’ or rock music question’ for them to respond to. Back
then, rock music was the counter-culture/rebellious music of the day &
most jazzmen had a strong disdain for it.
It was the same experience when I attended Berklee College of
music (1971-74), & most of the jazz notaries previously mentioned as
well as countless others would regularly show up at Berklee, many
As a student back in those days as well as a professional gigging
musician, I had the sense enough to take notes when these folks spoke
(especially in regards to Jimi) & much of what I wrote I have held
onto because since the late ‘70’s, I have been giving
lecture-demonstrations on the political/musical & spiritual importance
of Jimi & these notes have proven invaluable in, as I said earlier,
putting the ‘clues’ together.
Some ‘stand-outs’ from the notes:
(1) Sun-Ra himself mentioned meeting with Jimi twice, once just
before the “Electric Ladyland” album & again briefly in Harlem a few
months before his death where he told Jimi NOT to abandon the stage
antics, because it was a creative way of manipulating sound……Sun-Ra
told us that the loss of Jimi was a big loss to the music world in
terms of the bringing global attention to the mix of Pop & progressive
music with spirituality. This statement was VERY important to me
because I did not see this in music again until the rise of Bob Marley
a few years later & haven’t seen it since til this day~!
It’s also interesting to note……Sun Ra hanging with Trane, we get
the period of Trane being accused of going overboard with drugs, not
playing his horn seriously anymore & McCoy Tyner leaving, etc…..Sun Ra
hanging with Miles, we get the “Bitches Brew” album…….Sun Ra meeting
with Sly, we get the “There’s A Riot Going On” album.
(2) Rahsaan Kirk met with Jimi a second time (they did not play
together this time) as they were passing each other at a recording
studio & they talked about the ‘new jazz’ movement.
(3) Gil Evans wrote a mimeographed manuscript especially for Jimi
as a ‘shortcut’ to jazz theory & improvisation, which later fell into
Velvert Turner’s hands somehow.
(4) Alice Coltrane told of her meeting Jimi briefly & him being
ushered away by Mike Jeffries. Just before he died, he later tried to
contact his management to possibly do a recording with him, but was
told he was unavailable indefinitely.
(5) A special note should be given to Stevie Wonder (who did not
speak at my high school), but I did talk to about Jimi in 1980 at a TV
award show where I was playing as a sideman in the house band. He told
me that the most important part of that impromptu jam they did
together in 1967 was NOT the playing together. It was after they
played, they briefly spoke & Stevie told him about the new concept he
was getting into for his upcoming album of playing all of the
instruments in the studio on his songs. This was a concept back then
that only a handful of popular musicians like Todd Rundgren & Buddy
Miles were into. This concept ‘fired’ Jimi up until his death & even
in some bios there is mention of his famous Manny’s music store visit
where he bought many instruments & recording equipment directly for
(6) I interviewed both Larry Graham & Rose Stone on my radio show
& they both told me that Sly, Freddie, Rose & Larry were eating in a
London restaurant & Sly stood up & said he & Freddie had to leave
because they were supposed to be going to a jam session with Jimi. For
some reason, they sat back down, never made it to the session & Jimi
died either that night or the next night.
In closing I’d like to say that if you read CAREFULLY what’s in
this thread, you’ll see information that is NOT in any bios or that
you may’ve not heard. Much of this is attributed to as I said earlier
in the thread that some of the important folks (myself NOT included)
have been left out of being interviewed about Jimi, but just the same
are important to piecing the ‘clues’ together in his fantastic story.
February 24, 2012 at 12:07 am | #7
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Great thread. I posted heaps here and it took me a fucking hour
just to hit the wrong button and GONE. I won’t be typing it all out
again. Sorry. The much shorter version…
This is on Jimi’s Studio 10 CD limited Ed. Trumpet distinctly
heard. Recorded 14th April 1969. Available here on Youtube.
And it reminds me of this (Watermelon Man)
Miles and Herbie both in New York Feb 19th 1969 to record In a
Silent Way in one session. Not reased til July. Unknown musicians on
I go now and throw one laptop off one building! Take it easy dudes.
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