Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

JIMI HENDRIX – Winterland – Live recording at the Winterland Ballroom (4 CDs & book) Sony Legacy

This four-CD set, taped seven months after the Lewiston, ME concert, is one impressive recording.

Published on August 16, 2011

JIMI HENDRIX – Winterland – Live recording at the Winterland Ballroom (4 CDs & book) Sony Legacy

JIMI HENDRIX – Winterland – Live recording at the Winterland Ballroom (4 CDs & book) Sony Legacy ****:

On March 16, 1968 at the Armory in Lewiston, Maine, I saw two-thirds of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. For some reason lost to rock history, bassist Noel Redding did not appear. It didn’t matter to Jimi. For an hour and a quarter, he and his drummer Mitch Mitchell blasted out a performance so terrific that I left marveling to my date: “What the hell was that? It was much better than the [two studio] albums. (Electric Ladyland had yet to be released.) Would I love to have a recording of that!”

I may get my wish, these mere 43 years later. The family-run company Experience Hendrix is now sagely releasing the live recordings from their vault. This four-CD set, taped seven months after the Lewiston concert, is one impressive recording. 

What do you get? Multiple renditions of his own songs: four of his “Purple Haze,” three of “Hey Joe;” “Foxy Lady,” “Lover Man,” and “Red House;” and two of the “Star Spangled Banner” (never studio released). Of course—closer to jazz than rock tradition—these versions are all different. There are two of Hansson & Karlsson’s “Tax Free,” one clocking in at 15 minutes, the other at 10. With their intricate spiraling inventions, maddening tempo explorations, and clever wah-wah pedaling, both will put a smile on your face. He performs Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” twice (11:46 and 11:48 respectively), and both of them surpass Dylan’s hit, musically speaking. How could they not? For guitarist, Dylan had only the workmanlike Mike Bloomfield. Think Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” cover is a masterpiece? Compared to these two, with their piping hot ideas, tasty instrumental interludes, and skewed lyrics, it’s a one-bite truffle. Twice he performs Cream’s “Sunshine of your Love,” clocking them in at nine minutes each. Don’t wrack your brain trying to decide Hendrix vs. Cream, just revel in these versions, both instrumentals, both value added to the one on the posthumously released Valleys of Neptune.

We also hear all Hendrix’s asides and quips at these concerts. To a heckler, he says “Not now man. When I say ‘toilet paper,’ that’s when you come rolling out.” He apologizes profusely for equipment trouble and when he blows a speaker on the last day, he says “Sorry, but hey, fuckit,” and plunges into a madcap spin of “Wild Thing.” There’s even a taped 18-minute interview at the Boston Garden in which he tells listeners to take back the country from the politicians and war-mongers, while nervously strumming “Sunshine of your Love.” He consistently forgets the titles of songs he didn’t write.

Get this set. Hendrix is a voodoo child. This must be his next world.

TrackList:

Disc 1 =
1. Tax Free
2. Lover Man
3. Sunshine of Your Love
4. Hear My Train A Comin
5. Killing Floor
6. Foxey Lady
7. Hey Joe
8. Star Spangled Banner
9. Purple Haze

Disc 2 = 


1. Tax Free
2. Like a Rolling Stone
3. Lover Man
4. Hey Joe
5. Fire
6. Foxey Lady
7. Are You Experienced
8. Red House
9. Purple Haze

Disc 3 =
1. Fire
2. Lover Man
3. Like a Rolling Stone
4. Manic Depression
5. Sunshine of Your Love
6. Little Wing
7. Spanish Castle Magic
8. Red House
9. Hey Joe
10. Purple Haze
11. Wild Thing

Disc 4 =
1. Foxy Lady
2. Are You Experienced
3. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
4. Red House
5. Star Spangled Banner
6. Purple Haze
7. Jimi Hendrix: Boston Garden Backstage Interview

Hendrix in the West =
1. The Queen
2. Sgt. Pepper s Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Little Wing
4. Fire
5. I Don t Live Today
6. Spanish Castle Magic
7. Red House
8. Johnny B. Goode
9. Lover Man
10. Blue Suede Shoes
11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

—Peter Bates




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