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Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock CD (album) cover


Jimi Hendrix



4.75 | 27 ratings

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4 stars Now this is my favorite of the Jimi film experiences! What can you really say about one of the most landmark performances by a musical artist? Unlike his later Isle of Wight, where the ravages of touring and drugs were pushing him over the edge, Jimi is in fine form here. Despite the rain delays that pushed his slot into the next day, Jimi hits the stage with his new band Gypsys, Sun and Rainbows, with full steam. I actually feel sorry for the people that didn't wait around for this stellar closer of the famed festival.

The whole show is just pure Jimi all the way showing his charisma as always, "We're just jamming now, if that's ok!" he tells his audience. His staple Red House is just as smooth and flowing as ever and hold your breath for Voodoo Child (Slight Return) as it runs right into our national anthem and just continues into more improv.

About the only drawbacks I can come up with on this DVD is that the sound mix pretty much eliminates sidemen Larry Lee, Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez, they're barely audible which I think is a little unfair. Another drawback is the erratic editing that was done on the original film. God bless Martin Scorsese, who was assistant director on this film and may or may not have filmed this segment, but the angles get pretty obscure. Too many shots of Jimi from the back that doesn't really give a presentation this event deserves.

The film has been remastered as good as it could be. Unlike the more incomplete 1999 release, the picture is much more natural looking with warmer colors. Adding in the alternate takes of the performances on the 2nd disc and including the never released backstage angles make this a more complete "experience".

As for the sound, the 5.1 mix is about as good as it can be. Old Max Yasgar's farm was certainly not known for it's acoustics, but Warner certainly did the best they could with this vintage recording without it sounding too artificial.

The extras are definitely worth a look to give more insight of the festival and Jimi's show itself with interviews of the band members and concert promoter Michael Lang.

In closing, this was a period where Jimi was at the peak of his powers only a few months away from another landmark concert that took place at Bill Graham's Fillmore East. IMO, this is THE document of that time. Thank heaven it was filmed.

5 stars for performance 3 stars for the filmmaking 3.5 stars for the sound 5 stars for the extras

4.5 stars overall - 'nuff said

marktheshark | 4/5 |


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