November 27th, 1942 is one of the most important dates in modern music history. It is such an important date because that was the day on which one of the greatest guitarists in modern music history was born. His name was Jimi Hendrix. If he were still around today, this November would mark his seventy-first birthday. In honor of the upcoming anniversary, Sony Legacy and Experience Hendrix, LLC will release the never before released live recording, Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival on November 5th. This latest live release is another welcome addition to the home library of any true purist Hendrix fan. Fans will appreciate and enjoy this latest live release first and foremost because as any fan knows, Hendrix and his band mates never played the same song the same way twice. This was the case both in The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys. And that holds true even in the case of this release. Audiences will also take note that in this performance, they get Hendrix’s very first ever recorded live performance of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’’ and ‘Tax Free.’ And sealing the deal for fans is the fact that as old as the performance is, the sound quality is just as good as any live recording released today. The sound quality combined with the set list and overall performance makes this recording one that is deserving of many more than just one listen.
Anyone purist Hendrix fan knows that one thing that makes his live recordings so special is that he and his band mates never performed the same song the same way twice. This applied both in the case of his performances with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and with his Band of Gypsys. And it rings especially true on this recording. Listeners will love how the band spontaneously breaks into jam sessions on every song. One of the best of those moments comes in the band’s performance of ‘Red House.’ One can instantly see the band on stage, letting the music take over as it flows within the moment. Drummer Mitch Mitchell’s playing is incredible to say the least. Even throughout his performance in the band’s jam session here, he never misses a single beat. And one can almost close one’s eyes and see Jimi, his own eyes closed as he lets the music flow from his fingertips. This is a moment that is more than just part of concert. It is part of a musical experience (pun fully intended). It’s just one of so many moments that audiences will appreciate throughout this recording.
Hendrix and company offer so much enjoyment throughout The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival. Listening to this new release is just as good as having been there. The performance itself is just part of the equation, though. Listeners get an extra special treat in this new live release that they’d never gotten in previous live Hendrix recordings. That special treat is the inclusion of the first ever live recordings of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ and ‘Tax Free.’ The first ever live recording of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ is a wonderful musical experience. It really served to exhibit Hendrix’s talent on the guitar. The song’s old school blues roots come out so powerfully throughout the song, showing perfectly the connection between rock and the blues. And again, Mitchell’s drumming perfectly complements Hendrix’s playing, while bassist Noel Redding maintains the songs foundation just as expertly. ‘Tax Free’ by contrast is something that simply has to be heard to be appreciated. This song is a full on jam session. There are no words here. Just music. And the music is incredible. It is a rock song. But it is also a chance for the band members to show the extent of their talents. And to say that each one is talented would be an understatement. It is one more small portion of the whole that makes this recording a must for any fan of Jimi Hendrix or of real music with soul and substance.
The set list and overall performance presented by Jimi Hendrix and his band mates on this latest live release are both extremely impresses parts of the whole presentation. There is one more aspect of this recording’s presentation to consider in its success. That factor is its audio mix. More than forty-five years have passed since this performance was originally recorded. Considering how much time has passed, it’s incredible that the masters have stood the test of time so well. Just as interesting to note is that they survived the transfer from tape to CD. The sound on this recording is just as clear as if one were actually at the performance as it was happening. That is a tribute to both those that transferred the show to CD and to the man originally responsible for putting the recording to tape, Hendrix’s friend and sound engineer Eddie Kramer. Kramer handled his recording duties with the utmost expertise in this performance. And it shows from start to finish. No one part overpowers the other at any one point throughout the show. This added to the mix puts the recording over the top and that much more worth picking up when it hits stores in November. More information on this and other upcoming Hendrix recordings is available online at http://www.jimihendrix.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.