Goddamnit. Apparently, Mitch Mitchell has died. That makes all of the original Experience. The Jimi Hendrix Experience is no more.
Mitch Mitchell was, in my opinion, one of the three best rock drummers of the sixties, along with Moonie and Bonzo. When I bought my first Hendrix album, I listened to the drums even more than the guitar. He had a much lighter touch than Bonzo, wasn't was chaotic as Moon, and didn't hit as hard as either of them, but he had great, jazzy finesse that they both lacked, and could at times be more creative than either. See the opening drum break in "Fire."
He was Jimi's prefect compliment. Listening to some of their live material, it's amazing how much they seem to be anticipating each other's move. There was a weird kind of mind-meld going on with those two. It really speaks to their skill that they were both able to solo together. Jimi's guitar-playing exists on its own level, but I can't beleive how lucky he was to get such a drummer. It elevates music that should be simply great into EPIC.
So long Mitch. Hope you are jamming with Jimi somewhere in the sky, or a Spanish castle.