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CD REVIEW

Various Artists: Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix

When the Hendrix family put out feelers to do another official tribute album (the first, 1993's "Stone Free," sold 600,000 copies), the response came far and wide from Prince, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Cee-Lo, Sting, and many more. The result is an even better album this time, as many artists put their heart and soul into it. Prince takes Hendrix's "Red House" and turns it into "Purple House," adding arcing blues notes that are much hotter than anything on his own new album, "Musicology." Clapton steps up with a simmering, power-ballad treatment of "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," backed by Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. The collaborations are often sensational, such as Santana and Corey Glover (the former Living Colour vocalist) on a psychedelic "Spanish Castle Magic," Chaka Khan and Kid Rock guitarist Kenny Olson on a transcendent "Little Wing," and George Clinton and Bootsy Collins giving a space-age funk clinic on "Power of Soul." The soul element is important here, because the Hendrix family wished to bring out the more soulful side of their prodigal son, who had played with the Isley Brothers and Little Richard before making it in the rock world. That theme is crystallized by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire doing a beautifully transformed "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)." Almost all renditions are newly recorded and fresh, though the family added a few older tracks such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble powering through a "Little Wing/ 3rd Stone from the Sun" medley from 1983. One has to think that Jimi would have been proud of the effort throughout this disc.

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