(BM) More rare Jimi Hendrix recordings will be released over the next three years. We were sent these details: Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings have announced that they have acquired the full and complete rights to 88 studio and live recordings made by Curtis Knight & The Squires featuring Jimi Hendrix in 1965-1967.
They announced that they plan on releasing these historic recordings–properly mixed, mastered and annotated–in definitive new editions, curated and remastered under the direction of Eddie Kramer (Hendrix’s long-time sound engineer) over the next three years.
The total buyout of these master recordings places a historic exclamation point following decades of litigation between Jimi Hendrix, Ed Chalpin and PPX Enterprises. All 88 tracks recorded by Chalpin and PPX from 1965-1967 are finally under complete ownership and control of Experience Hendrix LLC.
In the early 1960s, before launching a solo career that continues to influence pop, rock and soul music, Jimi Hendrix was a little known sideman, working for short periods with a variety of artists including the Isley Brothers, Don Covay, Little Richard and the Harlem-based R&B combo Curtis Knight & The Squires.
Ed Chalpin was an entrepreneur and record producer who founded PPX International, Inc, in 1960; PPX specialized in providing backing tracks for movies, TV shows, trailers and commercials, working with a variety of artists, producers, directors, music supervisors, record companies, and production companies. During his tenure as a guitarist for the Squires, Curtis Knight introduced Hendrix to Chalpin. On October 15, 1965, Chalpin inked a notorious three-year recording contract–for $1.00 and a 1% royalty–with Jimi (then “Jimmy”) Hendrix and Curtis Knight & The Squires that would prove endlessly problematic, once the guitarist hit big with his own group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967.
Knight’s single releases featuring Hendrix as a sideman did not enjoy commercial success and the guitarist relocated to Greenwich Village where he formed Jimmy James & The Blue Flames in 1966. Animals bassist Chas Chandler discovered Hendrix performing at the Café Wha? as Jimmy James that summer and offered to take him to London.
When Jimi signed with manager Chas Chandler and began his transition from sideman into the stratosphere, Chandler dutifully sought out, and bought out every contract his new artist might have outstanding. The exception, Hendrix’s 1965 agreement with PPX, became the source of a string of legal battles running from the 1960s into the 21st century.
Through the years, many of the recordings Hendrix made with Curtis Knight & The Squires were made available in misleading packages (often misrepresented by images of Hendrix leading the Jimi Hendrix Experience as opposed to being a member of the Squires) and have never been properly released, or evaluated, as vital and explosive exemplars of electric R&B and essential components in Jimi’s artistic evolution.
In 2007, Experience Hendrix LLX obtained a stipulated court order of almost $900,000 against Ed Chalpin. The payment to Experience Hendrix was the culmination of a 2006 lawsuit commenced in New York against Chalpin and two of his related companies.
The case dates back to a 2001 lawsuit in the UK High Court by Experience Hendrix against Chalpin and his PPX Enterprises to enforce a 1973 consent decree, which limited Chalpin’s rights in Hendrix recordings to 33 masters largely recorded in 1965 when Hendrix was an unknown backing guitarist for the R&B combo Curtis Knight & The Squires.
On July 5, 2002, a London High Court order was issued which read: “Ed Chalpin / PPX Enterprises Inc. must not issue or release recordings on which Jimi Hendrix performed in any capacity whatsoever (other than 33 songs with Jimi Hendrix as a sideman).” In 2003, a New York State Court upheld the UK court’s decision.
The 88 recordings include a mythic live performance on December 26, 1965 (before Jimi’s upcoming success in England) at George’s Club 20 in Hackensack, New Jersey, as well as studio tracks cut by Curtis Knight & The Squires with Hendrix in July 1967 (after the May 12 release of Are You Experienced that same year).