Share this page!

The virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix transcended beyond the boundaries of solo achievements. His fervent desire to explore new soundscapes and not remain confined within the mold of psychedelic rock was palpable in his collaborations. This innate need for sonic experimentation made Hendrix a magnet for other musical greats.

From the rhythmic dynamism of Little Richard to the soulful blues of B.B. King; from Jack Bruce of Cream’s robust bass lines to Johnny Winter’s unbridled energy – Hendrix’s artistic was woven with myriad hues of collaboration. This was not just a testament to his genius but also an affirmation of his insatiable curiosity to evolve and innovate. Join us as we celebrate ten legendary moments where Jimi Hendrix melded his genius with other musical luminaries, crafting timeless anthems that resonate even today.

1. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton

When two guitar Gods converge on a stage, what emerges is not just music, but history. Such was the case when Jimi Hendrix met Eric Clapton during his arrival to England.

London’s Central Polytechnic in 1966 bore witness to this iconic merging of talents. Jimi Hendrix, fresh to the London music scene, was eager to make an impression, and what better way than to jam with the power trio of Cream? As the first chords of “Killing Floor” rang out, those present realized they were witnessing something extraordinary. Clapton, known for his smooth bluesy guitar licks, was complemented blown away by Jimi Hendrix’s aggressive, feedback-driven onslaught.

The aftermath of that night was profound. In an interview, Clapton confessed to Chandler to feeling both awe and intimidation after witnessing Jimi Hendrix’s talent up close. He famously remarked, “You never told me he was that good.” But beyond the competition, what stood out was the mutual respect between the two.

2. Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Stills

YouTube player
Jimi Hendrix – My Friend, with Stephen Stills on piano.

When Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Stills came together, it was an alignment of stars. Both musicians were renowned for their distinctive styles, with Jimi Hendrix’s fierce electric guitar sound and Stills’ soulful voice and multi-instrumental talents.

One momentous session showcasing their partnership occurred at Sound Center Studios, located at 247 West 46th Street in New York City. Here, Jimi Hendrix recorded a series of tracks, including “My Friend.” This particular song saw an ensemble of talents: Ken Pine on the 12-string, Paul Caruso with his harmonica, Jimmy Mayes on drums, and notably, Stephen Stills gracing the piano. Interestingly, for this track, Jimi Hendrix took on the role of a bass guitarist, showcasing his adaptability as a musician.

Beyond this recorded gem, their collaboration is also highlighted in the track “Old Times Good Times” from Stephen Stills’ self-titled album, where Hendrix’s unmistakable guitar riffs blended seamlessly with Stills’ vocals.

3. Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Youngblood

The fusion of Jimi Hendrix‘s electric guitar brilliance with Lonnie Youngblood’s commanding presence on the saxophone created a musical synergy that remains iconic. Born Lonnie Thomas on August 3, 1941, in Augusta, Georgia, Youngblood etched his mark as an illustrious American saxophonist and bandleader. His intersections with Jimi Hendrix, however, added a fascinating layer to his legacy.

In 1966, a crucial year for both artists, Youngblood collaborated with Jimi Hendrix during several pivotal recording sessions. Facilitated by producer Johnny Brantley, they worked alongside a diverse range of vocalists. The results of these sessions were nothing short of electric: Youngblood’s singles “Goodbye, Bessie Mae”/ “Soul Food (That’s What I Like)” and “Go Go Shoes” (Parts 1 & 2) captured the spirit of the era. Furthermore, five other distinct singles by various artists emerged from this creative burst.

Yet, the collaboration’s narrative wasn’t without its challenges. A decade into the new millennium, Youngblood found himself in a legal tussle. In 2010, he initiated a lawsuit against the Hendrix estate, MCA Records, and esteemed film director Martin Scorsese. At the heart of this dispute was the unauthorized use of “Georgia Blues”, which Youngblood claimed as his composition, featured in the Jimi Hendrix album, Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues.

4. Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter

A photograph showcasing Jimi Hendrix playing the bass, Johnny Winter on guitar, and Buddy Miles on drums, immersed in a powerful musical moment.
Jimi Hendrix on bass, Johnny Winter on guitar, and Buddy Miles on drums.
Credit: Reddit

On a particularly charged evening of May 7, 1969, Jimi Hendrix, fresh from the buzz of the nearby Scene Club, arrived with two prolific musicians, Steve Stills and Johnny Winter, by his side. New York’s music circuit was abuzz with excitement as The Scene nightclub set the stage for what would be an exceptional showcase of Hendrix’s musical versatility.

While most recognize Jimi Hendrix for his unparalleled guitar skills, many are unaware of his proficiency with the bass guitar. That night, in a captivating moment, Jimi Hendrix picked up an upside-down Fender Jazz Bass and began an electrifying jam with Winter. It was a demonstration of Jimi Hendrix’s multi-instrumental genius, complemented by the raw energy and talent of Winter.

The Scene nightclub bore witness to this extraordinary collaboration. As the notes flowed, it became evident that it wasn’t just a regular jam session. It was a display of two guitar legends, each with his unique style, converging in a musical communion that left the audience mesmerized.

Winter’s rapid blues articulations paired harmoniously with Hendrix’s innovative bass lines, offering the audience a sonic treat rarely experienced.

5. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Burdon

Jimi Hendrix and Eric Burdon connection first gained attention in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival, where Hendrix’s legendary guitar-burning act took center stage. While this event is primarily remembered for that iconic moment, not many recall that it was Eric Burdon who introduced Jimi Hendrix to the eager audience.

Following Monterey, they found themselves sharing stages on numerous occasions. One notable instance was when Hendrix joined Burdon’s new band, War, at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. It was here, in a dimly lit venue filled with the hum of conversation and clinking glasses, that the two once again combined their musical strengths.

The profound connection between the two was tragically highlighted by the untimely death of Jimi Hendrix on September 18, 1970. This event occurred just two days after Jimi Hendrix had joined War on stage at Ronnie Scott’s. The impact of this loss deeply affected Burdon. He reflected, “That became the end of the parade because it affected us so much. It was tough for me, it was tough for everybody.”

Their collaborations, while sporadic, were deep and impactful. Hendrix’s raw guitar skills and Burdon’s powerful voice formed a unique partnership, a blend of British rock and American blues.

6. Jimi Hendrix and Jack Bruce

Their mutual admiration and sporadic collaborations remain etched in the chronicles of rock. Jack Bruce recalled one such memorable interaction with Jimi Hendrix in an interview with Classic Rock in 2008.

Bruce reminisced, “I first met Hendrix when we [Cream] did a gig at the Regents Polytechnic. Coincidentally, the soon-to-be members of Pink Floyd were among the audience that night. They later conveyed to me that witnessing our performance spurred them to form Pink Floyd. Now, whether our influence on them was good or bad, I’ll leave that to others to decide.

Bruce continued: “”Hi. I would like to sit in with the band.I said it was fine with me but he’d obviously have to check it out with Eric and Ginger. So we went across to the gig, and Eric immediately said yes and Ginger said: Oh, dunno about that” [laughs]. So he came on and plugged into my bass amp, and as far as I can remember he just blew us all away. Hendrix had a positive effect on everybody, especially guitar players.

He came to the sessions when we [Cream] did White Room in New York and was very encouraging about the song. He came up to me and said: “Wow, I wish I could write something like that.” I said: “Jimi, what you’ve got to realise is that I probably nicked it off you.

Such exchanges underline the mutual respect between these rock legends. Jimi Hendrix’s exceptional skills not only revolutionized guitar playing but also inspired and challenged his contemporaries, Bruce included. And while their formal collaborations might have been fleeting, the influence they wielded over each other and the broader rock community remains undiminished. The chance meetings, jam sessions, and shared laughs they enjoyed paint a vibrant picture of an era defined by musical exploration and genuine connections.

7. Jimi Hendrix and The Isley Brothers

Legends converge: The Isley Brothers and a young Jimi Hendrix light up the stage in '64. Farewell, but never forgotten.
The Isley Brothers perform at a farewell party with Jimi Hendrix in 1964.
Credit: Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Before the name Jimi Hendrix became synonymous with guitar virtuosity, the young musician made a significant pit stop as a sideman for The Isley Brothers. Jimi Hendrix association with The Isley Brothers began when he joined the band in 1964. His time with the band was short-lived, lasting only for a few months, but it was crucial for both parties.

It was during this period that Hendrix developed his distinct playing style, experimenting with feedback and overdriven amplifiers. Although he wasn’t the frontman, those who attended the concerts could sense there was something special about this young guitarist.

The Isley Brothers, known for hits like “Shout” and “Twist and Shout”, were at the forefront of the R&B scene. Integrating Jimi Hendrix into their lineup was a significant addition. The fusion of Hendrix’s wild guitar techniques with the smooth, harmonious vocals of the Isley Brothers created a unique sound that captivated audiences.

One notable track that came out of this collaboration was “Testify”. Jimi Hendrix’s contribution to the song was unmistakable. His aggressive yet melodious guitar licks added a fresh layer of complexity to The Isley’s sound. While he did not get credited as the lead guitarist on this track, his influence is palpable to anyone familiar with his style.

Jimi Hendrix’s time with The Isley Brothers might have been brief, but it was a period of immense growth. Being with an established act allowed him to gain exposure, hone his skills, and understand the workings of the music industry. On the other hand, The Isley Brothers got a taste of the revolutionary sound that Hendrix would soon introduce to the world. It was a symbiotic relationship, one that would pave the way for the meteoric rise of one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Though Hendrix would go on to leave the band and join the ranks of musical legends with his groundbreaking performances at Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, his stint with The Isley Brothers remains an essential chapter in his musical journey. It’s fascinating to think about what might have been if this collaboration lasted longer.

8. Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King

The nexus between Jimi Hendrix and the legendary B.B. King wasn’t just a casual intersection of two musicians. It represented a harmonious blend of soulful blues and innovative rock. Their mutual admiration and deep respect for each other’s craft is well-documented and resonates powerfully within the circles of music enthusiasts.

By the late 1960s, B.B. King, with his defining voice of the blues, had stamped his authority on the genre with hits such as “Lucille” and “The Thrill Is Gone”. In a contrasting yet complementary ascent, Jimi Hendrix was reshaping the rock scene, pushing boundaries with his unique sound characterized by feedback and powerful amplifier surges.

An iconic session saw Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King exchange guitar riffs, challenging and inspiring each other in equal measure. King’s precise and articulate guitar strokes conversed seamlessly with Hendrix’s passionate and unrestrained style. The synergy was evident, and the outcome was nothing short of musical magic.

On April 15, 1968 at The Generation Club in New York City’s East Village, the audience saw Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King perform alongside other stalwarts like Al Kooper and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Now known as “The King’s Jam” in musical lore, this event remains a testament to the timeless and transformative power of genuine artistry.

9. Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady

Jimi Hendrix playing guitar alongside Jack Casady who's on bass.
Jimi Hendrix teams up with Jack Casady.
Credit: let’s Talk Guild

Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady is nothing short of legendary. The 1968 period was particularly momentous for their collaboration. Notably, on October 10th of that year, Jack Casady took the stage alongside Hendrix during the evening’s second show at Winterland.

His unique bass tones were not just restricted to live performances, either. During that memorable show in 1968, Casady’s collaboration with Hendrix’s band, the Experience, was especially pronounced. The Jefferson Airplane bassist made his mark on classics such as “Killing Floor” and “Hey Joe,” adding layers of depth and intricacy to these iconic tracks with his bass guitar.

Casady also lent his bass skills to “Voodoo Chile”, a track from Jimi Hendrix‘s critically acclaimed “Electric Ladyland” album released the same year.

Reflecting on his times with Jimi Hendrix, Casady shared in an interview with Rick Landers:

We did a bunch of jamming together during a period of time. As I said, Bill Graham was our manager, and we had a rehearsal facility next door to the Fillmore, so when Jimi Hendrix would come through with Mitch Mitchell and Noel as the Jim Hendrix Experience, we’d usually be in town and hang out and share the bill together. We struck up a friendship, and when it was possible I’d sit in with him.

I sat in when he was in New York  to play the Electric Ladyland song “Voodoo Chile,” a 15-minute slow blues cut with Stevie Winwood, myself, Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix. That was a lot of fun. I didn’t really expect to see any of it on the album. When he asked I’d mind if he put it on the album, I said “That would be great!”  That was certainly a thrill for me.

10. Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard

Before the global music fraternity celebrated Jimi Hendrix for his unmatched artistry on the guitar, he was finding his rhythm in the expansive musical playground. A pivotal moment on this journey was when he aligned with Little Richard’s band, The Upsetters, in the early part of 1965. Adopting the pseudonym Maurice James, Jimi Hendrix embarked on a series of live performances with the rock icon. This merger of Jimi Hendrix’s budding guitar talents and Little Richard’s vocal might birthed a sonic experience that was electrifying.

A testament to their magnetic stage presence was shared by Little Richard in a VH1 Legends interview. Reflecting on their performances, he remarked, “On the stage he would actually take the show. People would scream and I thought they were screaming for me. I look over and they’re screaming for Jimi! So I had to darken the lights. He’d be playing the guitar with his teeth.” It was clear that Jimi Hendrix, even in his early days, possessed a captivating stage charisma that could parallel the allure of established stars.

Their collaboration further solidified its place in music history with the track, ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)’. This song not only showcased the harmonious fusion of their distinct styles but also marked a significant milestone for Little Richard. It became his last Top 20 R&B hit, and subtly, the world got a preview of a superstar guitarist in the making.

YouTube player
Little Richard on Jimi Hendrix

Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments