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And here, after a mere 45 years...an erstwhile neglected star performance
on 4 November 2013
Hendrix fans have had to wait a long time for the official release of this May 1968 performance at Gulfstream Park, Miami: 45 years to be exact (sobering to think that had Jimi lived, he'd now be a grand old man of 71). At this event for the first time in his short meteoric career, Jimi was placed top-of-the-bill.
So, what's it like? Well pretty good actually, definitely not `scraping the barrel' recordings but a superb concert performance delivered with finely mastered sound. This is the Experience trio - i.e. Jimi, Noel and Mitch, performing their early work with gusto, and with the mojo in overdrive.
Highlights: almost all of it. Standout tracks are the opener `Hey Joe', `Fire', `Hear my Train A-Commin', `Purple Haze' and - especially - `Red House' which might be his best-ever recorded performance of this blues number. Despite the 1968 date of the concert there is no material from the `Electric Ladyland' project, but the rain-deluge in the afternoon which put a damper on the event reportedly inspired Jimi to write the song `Rainy Day, Dream Away'.
You get 8x tracks from the evening headliner performance (preceded by 2 minutes of messing about and tuning up, titled `Introduction') plus additional versions of `Fire' and `Foxey Lady' from the afternoon's interrupted-by-rain-deluge mini-performance. The 2-gatefold cover sleeve contains a single CD, and a classy 24-page colour booklet crammed with numerous rarely-seen photos of the band, around which is wrapped the text of Bob Santelli's fine (if prolix) essay on the occasion and background music scene in 1968.
For the Hendrix aficionado: don't hesitate, buy.