The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Miami Pop Festival
While a nonbeliever might dismiss the steady stream of reissues and “new” releases that regularly emanate from the Jimi Hendrix archive, they’re usually worth investigating if you’re the least bit interested in the greatest rock guitarist ever. Exhibit A: this crackling live set from May 18, 1968. Though the repertoire is limited, drawing on the Hendrix oeuvre circa Are You Experienced?, his debut album, Jimi never played anything the same way twice.
These versions of “Purple Haze” and “Foxey Lady” offer subtly inviting twists on the studio renditions, while “Hear My Train A Comin'” and “Red House” find Hendrix reinvigorating the blues (and vice-versa) in his uniquely riveting way. Only the noodling “Tax Free” is less than compelling, hinting at his growing interest in pursing more “grown-up” musical paths. Miami Pop Festival was recorded nearly a half-century ago, but has the urgency of now.