Esoterica has no greater denomination than Jimi Hendrix – fact.
Janie Hendrix, the guitar magician’s adopted sister and operations honcho of the invaluable estate and legacy, is well aware of this; every year or two she pumps out another ‘alternate’ bag of tricks with spatterings of ‘never-before-released’ and ‘unavailable in its entirety’-style teasers for loyal fans hungry for anything undiscovered in his vast but finite canon.
When The Experience disbanded, Jimi took on two new musicians and debuted material over two nights which ended the ‘60s (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, no less) at the Fillmore, which was officially released as Band of Gypsys in March 1970. Here we have, quite simply, what it says on the tin… the unabridged debut of this outfit rather than a collection.
It’s a time piece, a historical ‘must have’, but it’s not the definitive ideal of what this new incarnation sounded like – rather a curio for the high fidelity elite. But it is Jimi Hendrix: nervous, excited and desperate to deliver something thrilling and new to his unsuspecting audience… it’s there that one can find the joy, alchemy and masterful talent that he had towering over any other performer alive at that moment.
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East 12/31/1969 is available now via Sony.