Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child

Sterling. Oct. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781454937388. $30. MUSIC
A vibrantly illustrated biography of Jimi Hendrix by Harvey Kubernik (Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows; Turn up the Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll in Los Angeles) and Kenneth Kubernik (former editor, Music Connection), whose knowledge of and relationship with many of the seminal figures in pop music serve the book well. Each chapter commences with a brief narrative from the authors that provides context, but the bulk of the work is composed of the memories and observations of Hendrix’s contemporaries, including members of his band, other important musicians (and rivals), pundits, critics, photographers, and fans; it is these comments that inform and flesh out the authors’ commentary and leave lasting impressions. Lavish photographs document the major professional events of Hendrix’s life, and there are a judicious number of rarer, more intimate images. Readers looking for a straightforward Hendrix biography have plenty of options to choose from, including Philip Norman’s excellent Wild Thing, but there is much to savor in the Kuberniks’ book.
VERDICT Capturing the flavor, the impact, and the enduring legacy of Jimi Hendrix, this is a delightful addition that will enhance and expand readers’ knowledge and appreciation of one of the great figures of popular music.
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