In Brief

*** 1/2 Jimi Hendrix, "Jimi Hendrix: Blues," MCA. The cover art and album notes argue that the essence of Hendrix was blues. The music (including eight previously unreleased performances) makes a different case: that his nature was protean, his music a boundary-jumping transformation of the blues. No other guitarist could have put this much sizzle and surprise into a collection that is 90% slow blues.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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