I have seen a lot of jazz guitar players turn their noses up at rock guitar players because the note selection is limited, but what they are missing is the pure power of the actual sound - and I have to say that I've gotten to take some sort of evil pleasure in watching a couple of these big box jazz guys have NO IDEA how to control the snarling beast that is a loud electric guitar with distortion, and have it all result in just a totally unmusical noise. Hendrix could make every noise that came out of his Stratocaster sing into something of beauty.
"Bleeding Heart" is a blues here where he shows off his "grab two strings with one finger and bend them and transfer from one to the other" thing that I have also really run with over the years. I'm sure it's an old Chitlin Circuit thing that lots of guys did back then, but he's the only guy I ever heard do it, and like I said, I have figured out ways to make this work over all kinds of scales etc.
"Fire" is really cool here, it's another one where the audio is way better than his studio recordings, the vocal is sort of not there a lot, but I think he just didn't bother to sing a lot of times. What I have always loved about his playing is his sense of the dramatic - he leads the music in a direction that it's always interesting, and he does the same thing in his solos, he makes sure that there is a beginning, a developed middle, and a climax at the end all the time.
I learned how to sometimes "float through the time" in a solo from Hendrix, sometimes he will do things that are not even close to metronomic but somehow work. I have recorded things that I had to tell my logical mind to not try to analyse as I was playing it, because I knew it would look like the science project of all time on paper - one of these days I will get some drummer to write them down for me.
"Little Wing" is amazingly in tune for a live Hendrix performance, and that goes for both the guitar AND the vocal performance. I have to give credit to whoever was mixing the live audio this night, the balance between all the instruments and the vocal and the drums etc is really studio quality.
And then there's "Voodoo Chile"....whooooooowwwhhh! Complete with his substitute #9 chords on the climb section. Once again, his tone is killer here, it's astounding that this a late 60s live recording - and he's just SO in tune, which so many times was just NOT the case in his live gigs. Mitch Mitchell is kicking ass and taking names on this thing, you can see why Hendrix hired him, he's right on Jimi at all times, pushing him to keep what ever he has happening going. They put a sparkler effect on Hendrix in the footage on this solo, and you can see why - wow. Even his "good night" section at the end with Mitchell is really cool, they actually had some rehearsed stuff to jam out on. Considering this is 1969 at the end of his life when his manager was working them to death and spiking their drinks with acid to punish them for violation of some rule he had, it's just as energetic as his stuff when he broke in 1966-7.
They bring out some jammers when they add "Room Full Of Mirrors" on to Voodoo Chile - Dave Mason on guitar and Chris Wood from Traffic on flute, who actually sounds really good. How they were able to amplify a flute with Hendrix's wall of Marshalls screaming behind him is a modern miracle of sound reinforcement.
The encore is "Purple Haze", the song that when I heard for the first time made me stop in my tracks and decide that I had to learn how to make a sound like that. Oh well, his low E string gets stuck in his guitar's nut at the end and goes totally sharp - but he's a master of fixing that stuff in the moment, and by "Wild Thing", it gets acceptable - sort of, you can see him trying to fix it all through the tune - well, if there's one sone that it doesn't matter much if you are in tune on, it's "Wild Thing" wink emoticon I've always thought it was really cool how he put "Strangers In The Night" into the solo, that's just total creative brilliance.....and so then the camera focuses on his crotch and whatever, he was nothing if not sexual and had the greatest clothes ever - and then there is the "National Anthem" quotes to close it all out, and the crowd going crazy trying to get the pieces of the smashed guitar.
Thanks to Tony Jones for turning me on to this, it's amazing stuff, and definitely NOT something that you want to skip through, listen to the whole thing. With all the totally terrible stuff that the Hendrix estate has release to scape money for the bottom of the Jimi barrel over the years, I will be really surprised if they don't release this audio as a new Hendrix CD, it would probably be the first really good one.