Showing posts with label The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mitch Mitchell, 1947-2008

News reports indicate that Mitch Mitchell (at the right in the picture, with Hendrix and Noel Redding, left), the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead yesterday morning in his Oregon hotel room. He was 61 years old. Reports say Mitchell was found dead shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday in his room at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland. He apparently died of natural causes. The article reporting his death from the L. A. Times can be found here. Mitchell was the last the trio to live; they are all gone now.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Riff

According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the musical term riff is probably an altered or shortened form of the word refrain, an ostinato (Italian, from Latin obstinātus, stubborn, past participle of obstināre, to persist, that is, to not go away) phrase repeated consistently at the same pitch throughout a musical number. Glen Miller’s hugely popular Swing tune, “In the Mood,” is a well-known example of a riff-based composition. A riff, though, is different from a lick in that riffs can consist of repeated chord progressions (The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”), while licks typically consist of single-note melodic lines. They share a similarity though, in that licks, like riffs, can be used as the basis of an entire song, as in The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Question: What happens when a rock musician tries to overcome the opposition governing the distinction between the riff—consisting of a repeated chord progression—and the clean melodic line of a lick? Answer: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, that is, the Hendrix sound.

“Purple Haze” (1967)
“If Six Was Nine” (1967)
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (1968)
Band of Gypsys, “Machine Gun” (1970)