Gr 5-9-This straightforward account of the short life of this `60s guitarist is a step ahead of most book-report fodder. It begins with Hendrix's childhood and includes a balanced, nonjudgmental discussion of the musician's unstable mother that doesn't gloss over her apparently considerable flaws. Markel also recounts how Hendrix progressed from a backup band member for groups such as the Isley Brothers, the Supremes, and Little Richard to his truly innovative solo work and the Jimi Hendrix Experience band. The description of the sounds he achieved during his rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock conveys the effect of his playing to those who might not have heard his version of the anthem. The book concludes with Hendrix's death in 1970, which is related with a touch of drama. Black-and-white photos are of higher quality than the standard-issue, public-domain glossies that regularly adorn series biographies.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Though a little over a hundred pages of biographical detail is intended largely for advanced elementary grade levels, many an adult with a special interest in Jimi Hendrix's rock music will find themselves reading this biography of the musician's short but notable life. From a poor background in a home marked by an alcoholic mother, Hendrix rose to become a star. Jimi Hendrix details his remarkable story and profound influences on American popular music.