Live At Monterey

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Experience Hendrix, 2007

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/26/2008

Live At Monterey is a CD issued last year that presents Jimi Hendrix’s complete concert at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix was a star in England but was an unknown artist in the United States at this time. The audience at this performance had no idea that they were in for a music changing event as Hendrix, in about 43 minutes, changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll in the United States.

The music contained on this disc has been presented a number of times. There have been at least two different Monterey CD releases of which I am aware, and some of the music appeared on the Monterey Pop Festival’s 30th anniversary box set. But the quality of the sound has always been an issue. While this CD purports to have cleaned it up and remastered it as much as possible, it just comes back to the issue that the recording equipment in use was not up to even 1967 standards. What this album does have in its favor is that it retained all of Hendrix’s patter and conversation. bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

Hendrix kicks off his performance with “Killing Floor.” Mitch Mitchell’s drumming is always an interesting part of any Hendrix live show. Here he plays alongside Hendrix rather than playing behind him. He was an important and constant part of Hendrix’s sound, providing the filler in Hendrix’s power trio format.

“Foxey Lady” is familiar Hendrix -- psychedelic rock meets rock ‘n’ roll meets rhythm & blues, all propelled by his guitar wizardry. “Like A Rolling Stone” is a straightforward presentation of this Dylan classic. He is loyal to the structure and melody while providing appropriate guitar improvisations. “Rock Me Baby” just rolls over the listener in waves. Hendrix is in straight rock mode here with some odd tuning of his guitar to provide a unique sound. “The Wind Cries Mary” is one of my favorite Hendrix tunes, be it live or studio. The laidback but creative guitar playing is almost a welcome relief in the frenetic Hendrix universe. “Purple Haze” is a signature live song and the use of distortion and feedback while maintaining the song’s structure is always unique. He ends the concert with his memorable rendition of “Wild Thing,” ending with him burning his guitar.

This album and the live Band Of Gypsies albums are probably the two essential live albums by Jimi Hendrix. Live At Monterey also has the historic significance of being his coming out party and as such, it should be a part of any Jimi Hendrix collection.

Rating: B+

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Comments

by paint on November 26, 2008 05:32:41 AM
Buy the DVD. it's Great!

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© 2008 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Experience Hendrix, and is used for informational purposes only.