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Jimi Hendrix - Live at the Fillmore East CD (album) cover


Jimi Hendrix



4.13 | 29 ratings

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4 stars Despite the original "Band of Gypsys" album was a contractual obligation for Hendrix, I think that he was a very good judge of his own material to select the best live versions of the songs included in that album. So, in my opinion, the original "Band of Gypsys" album has the best material from those concerts. I have this opinion after buying and listening to this "Live at the Fillmore East" album, compiled by engineer Eddie Kramer and released in February 1999. This album has five of the six songs included in the "Band of Gypsys" album (the only one not included was "Mesage of Love"), in different versions, with the exception of "We Gotta Live Together", which was only played once by the band. The version of this song included in the 1970 album was heavely edited by Hendrix who wanted to include two songs composed by Buddy Miles in that album. The version included in in this 1999 album has a lenght of almost ten minutes, and it semes that the original version even lasted a few more minutes, so this 1999 version is still an edited version. The version of "Power of Soul" is a bit different. The two versions of "Machine Gun" are also a bit diferent. "Changes" is also a bit different. "Who Knows" is an almost four minutes version, not better than the one included in the 1970 album.

It is interesting to hear some songs originally recorded with the Experience ("Stone Free", "Voodo Child", "Wild Thing") being played instead by the Band of Gysys band. These versions sound a lot influenced by SoulFunky and Rhythm and Blues musical styles. Drummer Buddy Miles played the drums with a lot of power. Obviously Billy Cox is a very good bassist. So, three very good Black musicians playing obviosuly with the very good musical style and feeling that only Black musicians have.

Some of the rest of the songs were songs which Hendrix was planning to record in the studio for his next studio album. But he died before he could release these songs on albums, so the songs were released in posthumous albums, with the CD called "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" (1997) including some of them. Some of these songs are very Progressive in arrangements (particularly "Stepping Stone", "Earth Blues" and "Burning Desire"). "Stop" is a cover of an old song but sung by Buddy Miles.

In conclusion: while the "Band of Gypsys" album has the best performances of this band from these concerts as Hendrix selected them very well then, this "Live at the Fillmore East" is a very good companion to that album, and it still is a very interesting album which gives me the impresion that the band rehearsed basic parts of the songs, and that in the concerts Hendrix gave to himself and to the band the freedom to experiment and improvise to play the songs in different versions whcih also sound very well. The three musicians sound like understanding very well each other`s playing, so it was very easy to improvise and experiment during the concerts. This is a very good album, which also includes very good booklet notes (written by John McDermont). and a lot of photos. It was a very good buy for me, and not expensive (two CDs for approximately ten U.S dollars, 121 in Mexican pesos).

In the present, only Billy Cox is still alive from this "Band of Gypsys" band. Buddy Miles died in early 2008.And I also read recently that Mitch Mitchel died in November 2008. So, the three original members of the Exprience are now dead (Hendrix, Mitchell and Noel Redding).

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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