Jimi Hendrix – Live at Berkeley

Live at Berkeley

Experience Hendrix has settled into a regular schedule of new Jimi releases. This latest is taken from a live performance in May, 1970, and shows Hendrix in good form with a now well-indoctrinated Billy Cox on bass, and a newly returned Mitch Mitchell on drums.

Previewing several of the in-progress songs slated for a new album release (and which appeared on the posthumous Cry of Love), the band moves through a set that includes a bit of old and new. Standouts include the instrumental “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” and an explosive “Machine Gun,” as well as surprisingly spirited takes of oldies “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “Foxey Lady.”

Sound quality is excellent, thanks to the experienced hand of Eddie Kramer, and the performance certainly ranks an 8-plus on a 10 scale. An excellent booklet with an essay by John McDermott captures the tenor of the times surrounding the show. A few of the cuts here were deemed worthy of the original Hendrix: In the West album that was released in ’71, but the rest were previously unavailable except on bootleg recordings of dubious quality.

The Experience Hendrix people appear to have a steady stream of unreleased Hendrix material to keep enthusiasts happy, and win new converts. Bravo!

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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