ReviewsFor author Kevin Le Gendre—one of the UK's leading jazz journalists and black music historians—Hendrix' renown as a guitarist has tended to overshadow his considerable attributes as a songwriter. With forensic fervour Le Gendre addresses this historical imbalance, song by song, analysing the craftsmanship, influences and innovations behind the music.
As such, this is not a biography of Jimi Hendrix—plenty are the books that have delved into Hendrix' life already—but rather, a musical appreciation. That said, Le Gendre gleans a remarkable amount about Hendrix' psychological make-up by placing his songs under the microscope, revealing in the process just how open-minded Hendrix was in matters of music. To call Hendrix a rock musician, the author suggests, is to sell him short.
As enlightening as it is provocative, this original study positions Hendrix firmly within black music traditions, yet resolutely outside any categories other than avant-garde. Engagingly written and authoritative, Le Gendre's Hear My Train A Comin' should take its place alongside Charles Shaar Murray's Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-War Pop (Faber and Faber Ltd, 1989) and John McDermott's Jimi Hendrix Sessions: The Complete Studio Recording Sessions 1963-70 (Little, Brown and Company, 1995) as one of the essential guides to Jimi Hendrix.
All About Jazz
This book is particularly useful for understanding Hendrix’s life in Britain. Rich with detail and insight, it succeeds in opening up new ways of looking at his career and interpreting his revolutionary musical creativity.
Paul Gilroy, Professor of the Humanities and Founding Director, Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London