Jimi Hendrix
"Live At Monterey "
Hendrix Universal

The Jimi Hendrix Release, (09/26/07)

Life can be interesting at times, as I have been looking for a CD copy of Jimi Hendrix's Live at Monterey for quite some time now. The silver lining in all of this is that not only is this performance available digitally, it also contains six additional tracks that were not offered on the analog vinyl version (which on one side had four tracks by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and on the flipside was the incredible Otis Redding's Monterey performance). This LP (if you can find a reasonably priced copy) was originally issued on the Reprise label (a division of Warner Bros. and was titled Otis Redding-The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Historic Performances recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival).

Hendrix's gig at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (hard to believe that this is the fortieth anniversary) was the Jimi Hendrix Experience's inaugural landing in the United States, with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. It always amazed me how much colorful music (no flashback pun intended) that this power trio delivered and from my vague recollections from the Sixties, I have always felt that this performance was the most accessible Hendrix I had ever heard, not that they were that tame, just more roots based and definitely less acidic. Thus it was very nostalgic for me to rehear Hendrix's excellent version of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and his outrageous take of Chip Taylor's "Wild Thing." The standout performances from the previously unreleased tracks include Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," the multi-credited "Hey Joe," plus the Hendrix often-covered classics "Foxey Lady," "The Wind Cries Mary," and "Purple Haze."

One has to wonder if the Otis Redding Live at Monterey disk will make its appearance any time soon. Are the good folks at Rhino or the resurrected Stax/Concord label listening? But beggars can't be choosey, as I am thrilled to have Hendrix's wonderfully re-mastered Monterey performance on CD, as the sound is dynamite, plus- there will be a DVD version as well. Stay tuned!

Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com