Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
The premise of this all-star tribute to the self-described “West Coast Seattle boy” is admirable: to focus on Jimi Hendrix’s still-undervalued composing skills, and to flesh out (using the London Metropolitan Orchestra) the orchestral contours of haunting titles like “Drifting” and “…And the Gods Made Love.” Unlike a few previous attempts, Storm (made with the help of folks like drummer Tony Williams, guitarists John McLaughlin and Steve Vai, and bassist-vocalist Bootsy Collins) captures both the unabashedly funky (“Rainy Day, Dream Away,” “Purple Haze”) and lyrical (“Drifting,” “The Wind Cries Mary”) sides of the vocalist-guitarist. In fact, the collection is only annoying when the orchestra overreaches in its attempts to add “serious” overtones to otherwise enjoyable readings of the title track and “Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)”—the result being closer to Hendrix-lite than symphonic homage. Still, the deliciously raspy vocals of Taj Mahal and former Living Colour lead singer Corey Glover (“Drifting”), and McLaughlin’s searing, sensitive axwork should not be overlooked because of the occasionally excessive frosting. By no means should Storm be considered an alternative to the real thing, but its best moments could serve as either a reminder or an introduction for anyone wondering what the enduring fuss over Hendrix is all about.