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Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Concerts CD (album) cover

THE JIMI HENDRIX CONCERTS

Jimi Hendrix

Proto-Prog


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ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After the disastrous two ''studio'' albums released under Alan Douglas's umbrella, he put this double set on the market some seven years after these indigestible experimentations. And the result is incredibly good.

Most of the songs come from the six legendary concerts from Winterland; but all different than the ones that will be available on ''Live At Winterland'' released some years after this one.

One thing I find remarkable for the Hendrix fan, is that during ''I Don't Live Today'', Jimi starts ''Star Spangled Banner'' in a similar way than the one he will play during his legendary set at Woodstock. Astonishing, really. Almost a year and a half before! Same is valid with the intro for ''Are You Experienced''.

The track list is very impressive and the execution as well. Mr. Douglas really didn't screw it up this time even if purists might still argue about some mixing. Overall, this document is a damned good picture of some excellent Hendrix shows.

One of the few tracks that were not recorded during the Winterland concerts is the excellent ''Red House''. The long solo and middle section is absolutely gorgeous. Not being a blues fan to say the least, I can only applaud when I listen to such great musical moment (but as you might know, I'm biased with the man).

Another interesting feature of this album, is that most of these tracks weren't even released on some semi-boots records. The fantastically long version of ''Stone Free'' from the famous RAH concerts is hardly available (except on ''The Last Experience'' that provides the full concert). So, this album is really a great item to possess for Hendrix fans. Almost ''la crème de la crème'' my friends.

Almost every track is a jewel like the superb version of ''Little Wing'' and the excellent ''Voodoo Chile'' (which is not as great as the ultimate Woodstock version). Still, it also remains a fantastic moment for guitar lovers.

There are hardly one weak track in these live performances (maybe ''Bleeding Heart'' from the RAH which is not on par IMHHO) and one has to recognize that these do belong to the best of the master.

It is also nice to listen to this version of ''Wild Thing'' even if the last minute is somewhat cacophonic. This cover was of course immortalized during the Monterey festival ('67).

The version of ''Hear My Train?'' is also very important because at this time of his career, Jimi hadn't played it a lot before (if ever). One can notice this during Jimi's announcement. ''We are going to attempt this'' .

The title hasn't been defined yet: Jimi introduces it as ''Get My Heart Back Together Again'' or ''I See My Train or something like that''?anything you want to call it right now, we are going to jam''.

This version is slower than the ones we will hear during ''Band Of Gypsys'' or ''Woodstock''. I'm not particularly found of the echo on the vocal part after the middle part, but it is probably due to the production.

This work is a must for any Hendrix fan. One of his excellent live albums even if better versions for several songs can be found elsewhere (''Hey Joe'', ''Hear My Train'' for example).

Four stars. Well done Jimi!

Report this review (#219573)
Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Concerts (1982, recorded 1968-1970)

Though I am a fanatic guitar player myself, I've never been to fond of legendary Jimi Hendrix. I admire his skills and freedom of expression and the way he influenced some other bands I really like (mainly krautrock groups). I'm not too fond of the muddy sound, the unclear productions, the amateurism of the bands he played in and lack of well produced products (instead there is a long list of nearly acceptable compilations). Still, Jimi Hendrix started an era in which mastery of the instruments of the pop/rock assortment became acceptable and even admirable. This of course had a major influence on progressive rock, which was both blessed and cursed by mastery of the instrument.

On this double lp live set Hendrix plays most of his signature songs whilst leaving enough space for rock guitar experimentation and some blues sensibilities. The style of Hendrix's arrangements is recognized for it's mix of blues, black soul and proto-hard rock. The use of the tremolo, fast pull-offs and inventive use of equipment are all there to expand the guitar vocabulary to extraordinary lengths. The vocals of Hendrix are relaxing, but I can understand why he felt insecure about them. His timing is however great and interplay with the guitar brilliant.

The recordings have a similar sound and style, so the record can be listened to as if it were a single concert. The stadium sound works better then the studio recording for me. The combination of slight muddiness, the 'out there' stadium sound and the reverb on the vocals work quite well. The guitars sound heavy and well amplified and sometimes the combination of sounds create a gothic stadium appeal.

Conclusion. This is a good set of live recordings from Hendrix' prime period. Full of imperfections, but luckily also full moments on which the stratocaster guitar is celebrated as one of the main inventions of the 20th century. Three stars, recommended to fans, early hard rock collectors and seekers of guitar virtuosity.

Report this review (#669527)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

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