REVIEW OF - JIMI HENDRIX: LIVE AT THE FILMORE
THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR (so far)
(people ............JUST DON'T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
This is really a momentous album, I was almost prepared NOT to like it, I thought it was gonna be something of a rip off, since I have already heard most of all 4 of the Band of Gypsy's concerts.
The sound is all cleaned up though, according to the liner notes it says that even back then some of the audio was unusable.
I guess modern technology fixed that, eh???/.....LOL
Shame they only played those 4 shows, eh?
One more thing.....I don't think it"s a coincidence that this was released during BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!!!
^5 Experience Hendrix (GREAT RELEASE)
JIMI HENDRIX IS BADDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jimi Hendrix simply CAN'T be put into ANY category.... he is simply a "Universal Fusion Artist". Any attempts to place him in other categories are really an insult to his talent in my opinion....
Jimi NEVER does any of his songs exactly the same does he?
Sometimes he doesn't even use the same title for the songs........lol
BILLY COX IS BADDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I always knew he was a good bass player, however after listening to this album, I now have to rank him with the BEST I have ever heard.
Perhaps he is not as technically proficient as Boosty, Larry, Stanley Clarke, Micheal Henderson, etc
But the emotion that he plays with, while holding the "groove" together for Buddy and Jimi is nothing short of incredible (in my opinion)
Billy makes the other two better!
In my opinion, without Billy's bass, "Machine Gun" for example would just sond like noise. It's really Billy Cox who holds that thing together and makes it into a song :)
(Billy never gets the credit he deserves)
BUDDY MILES IS BADDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Buddy Miles sounds like he is in a damn "GOSPEL TRANCE" on the song "We Gotta Live Together". Maybe it's because of the cleaned up sound, I can really hear him singing clearly
for the first time. Buddy is really a pretty good "Soul Singer" and really shows how versatile a group the "Band of Gypsy's" could have been....:(
It kinda makes me wish they could have stayed together long enough to have produced a studio album as well.
(just imaging what that would have sounded like?)
The whole idea behind "Live at the Filmore" is to give you MORE of the Band of Gypsy's, and to use modern technology to give you the best possible audio quality.
(u can't go wrong with this one!)
TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW FOR:
JIMI HENDRIX: LIVE AT THE FILMORE
1. STONE FREE 12:56
To my ears the band sounds a little bit tired and seems to just be going thru the motions on this song. And to be honest with you I like the studio version (yes the Allan Douglas: Crash Landing version) better (so write me hate mail......lol)
2. POWER OF SOUL 6:19
I have just gotten through playing "Power of Soul" over again for the THIRD straight time.
This song S O A R S .......I mean the band is soooooo damn TIGHT. Jimi starts off by talking about the USC vs Michigan game.........then Billy comes in with that STANK FUNK bass ....Buddy chimes in with his "machine gun like" sticks on drums......finally Jimi begins to play and the three of em.........just JAMMIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The sound is so clear it sounds like I am there, the song has been playing for several min. and there is still is NO SINGING...I mean these badd boys, this "Band Of Gypsy's", are just STONE COLD JAMMIN........
Then the singing starts, but the intensity of the musicians remains and we hear Jimi say....
"with the POWER of SOUL anything is possible"
and boy oh boy, didn't he know THAT......whew!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. HEAR MY TRAIN A COMIN' 9:01
....and then there was a "train" guess who is riding it?
My main man
"........take me away from this lonsome town"
"tears burnin my eyes, way down in my soul......tears burnin
me way down in my heart"
"I HEAR MY TRAIN A COMMING..."
Scorching guitar work here (slow blues my azz)
"I gotta leave this town, go away and become a VOODOO CHILLE......a MAGIC BOY...I'm gonna come back one day and BUY THIS TOWN"
I First heard this song on the "Rainbow Bridge" album & it still carries with it much POWER and EMOTION, especially hearing it in this way, done live by a "band of gypsy's"
4. IZABELLA 3:41
A love song and an anti war song all rolled into one....lol
5. Machine Gun 11:36
Why have this song on the album twice???
Well the anwer is obvious (it's different)
The version on Disc one sounds like it should be titled:
- "Machine Gun (Harlem Version)"
it's "blusier" and more SOULFUL than the version on Disc two which really should be called:
- "Machine Gun (Village Version)"
They are both POWERFUL statements on the state of the human condition.....
6. VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) 6:02
LAWD KNOWS I"M A VOODOO CHILLE, LAWD KNOWS I"M A VOODOO
CHILLE, LAWD KNOWS I"M A VOODOO CHILLE, LAWD KNOWS I"M A
I couldn't resist doing that :)
Of course Jimi TEARS UP SH*T on "Voodoo Chille" he starts out calling the song "The Black Panthers National Anthem" and then he goes into a damn "voodoo guitar trance" of his own as he does his "thang". When Jimi plays "Voodoo Chille", I can feel spirits from the motherland entering my body :) The song sounds totally different, with the "band of gypsy's" than it does with the "Experience".... downright ......FONKY if u ask me :)
7. WE GOTTA LIVE TOGETHER 9:56
On the song "We Got To Live Together", Buddy Miles takes the lead vocals and TEARS it up!
As a matter of fact Buddy even utters the words" Feels like I'm in church", and sure enuff, he sounds like one of them Gospel singers that we have all seen go into a trance, while
praising the lord.
Now of course Buddy is praising what we would call "diversity", not a bad job for a "fat boy" :)
Now, there is a LOT more going on in this song than just Buddy's GREAT singing, you can hear Jimi in the background "chanting" and making his guitar sound EXACTLY like his chants......lol
Also you have here the famous "cover" of Sly Stone's "Sing a Simple Song", this was a great rendition of a GREAT song, by some people who not only spoke of "living together", but also practiced what they preached!
1. AULD LANG SYNE 3:54
Rings in the New Year first with a real "old timey" recording of the song then segueing into the the BOG's "cover" of the traditional song
2. WHO KNOWS 3:55
....and then the all too familiar STANK NASTY BASS LINE from Billy Cox beginning of the original BOG set: DUM DA DAM DAM.....but then something special starts coming out of my speakers...It's the voice of Jimi Hendrix.....
......."HAPPY NEW YEAR........GOODBYE 69.......WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR ME, IS KISS MY BEHIND"
....at that point I know that I am about to be treated to something truly special!
Most of the rest of "Who Knows" is then played out as a jazzy/FONKY instrumental, anchored of course by Billy's steady bass, doing a gospel type call & response with Jimi's guitar
3. CHANGES 5:37
"I'd like to feature Buddy Miles on this one....."
You have all heard the song before, it's Buddy's signature tune, however NEVER with this much clarity. Buddy Miles is a TERRIFIC singer, he could have been on STAX records if he had wanted to and if this song had been marketed properly, it would have been a hit record on Black radio!
4. MACHINE GUN 13:36
The virtuoso performance for the eons & the GREATEST POLITICAL STATEMENT EVER DROPPED on record (in my humble opinion)
"Evil man made me kill you.....evil man made you kill me......evil man making a KILLING..."
He makes the guitar TALK and he forces you to LISTEN!!!....as the magic of Jimi hendrix transports our minds from whatever comfortable setting we are listening to this CD in, to the rice patties of Vietnam and we hear it all, guns, helicopters, bombs and we hear..... Machine Gun ....tearing my body all AAAAAPPPPPPAAAAAARRRRRTTTT....."
(suddenly it no longer feels like a New Years Eve party!)
5. STEPPING STONE 5:20
I never liked this song.....LOL
6. STOP 5:43
Buddy starts this song off ...."You betta stop it now...."
Hendrix comes in with some "Sly Stone" type...."WAH WAH FONKY" guitar yet anther song where Jimi provides background vocals to Buddy's "Wilson Pickett Type Song Stylings"
"everything is hazy...."
7. EARTH BLUES 5:58
One of my favorites which would appear later on the album "Rainbow Bridge", this time Jimi takes the lead back from Buddy (who we hear on background vocals). To be honest with you, I like the version on Rainbow Bridge better with the Ronettes on background vocals.
8. BURNING DESIRE 8:22
Starts out with a very nice "funky jazz riff"
This song sounds very much to me like it's a "cover" of the song "Fire" (with some slightly different words), which was a pretty funky jam in and of itself, this is a little slower and NASTIER!!
9. WILD THING 3:06
Once again Jimi "covers" one of his old songs, but this time he:
... TURNS IT
..........SLOWS IT ..
& gets downright FONKY!!!!!!!!!!
A FEW SIDE NOTES (from the Hey Joe Mailing List)
From: email@example.com (MR BOB DAVIS)
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 02:17:23, -0500
Subject: his authentic tie to the circuit, to the black music of the 50's (& 60's too)
>>his authentic tie to the circuit, to the black music of the 50's<<
Just to pick up on this point for a moment, I'll replay a response that i recently sent out to one of my younger web site visitors...
If you really want to understand the "metamorphosis" of Jimi Hendrix, here is what I would recommend...
1. Listen to "Testify pt's 1&2" - Isley Bros so you can here what Jimi sounded like before he got famous (go to this web page and you can hear about 60 sec. of it)
2. Listen to any of the greatest hits compilations that are out on Hendrix so you can hear what the Jimi Hendrix experience "radio hits" sounded like
3. Listen to "First Rays of the New Rising Sun", so you can hear what his direction was at the time of his death
4. Listen to "Band of Gypsy's" so you can hear how drastic the change was from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and how it's a bridge between the Experience and " First Rays of the New Rising Sun "
5. Finally listen to "Live at the Filmore", so you can see how similar it was to "Testify pt's 1 & 2"
You see, he had really come "full circle" and was going into realms of FUNK that we STILL haven't seen touched yet :)
In some ways I think that one of the things that Jimi wanted to accomplish with the Band of Gypsy's, was to play the kind of music that he wanted to prior to the Experience forming (check the live version of "Driving South" with Curtis Knight for some of the evidence, that song could have just as well have been done by the Band of Gypsy's). He wanted to prove that it was a viable thing to do.
In a sense Jimi moved from "London to Harlem" with the Band of Gypsy's
Once he proved what he felt he had to, he moved on to a "land of a new rising sun".....
To me Band of Gypsy's has always sounded like a "virtuoso performance" of someone who felt that he had something to prove
"Live at the Filmore", just clarifies that even more so for me :)
URBAN SOUNDS: http://pages.prodigy.net/urbansounds/
NP: Jimi Hendrix/BOG - "Live At The Filmore" a BADD SLAMAJAMA!!