Happy New Year everyone! I had a pretty mellow New Years at home. That means I busted out some vintage vinyl. It's always a good time to listen to Jimi Hendrix and I put on my old Capitol Records copy of The Band of Gypsies. The group was Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. They brought in the decade of the 1970's with a New Years Eve gig at the Fillmore East in New York City.
Band of Gypsies was released later that year. Six songs were taken from the concert that resulted in an album of heavy funk with amazing jams. The centerpiece of the release is the epic "Machine Gun". Hendrix does this thing with the guitar that locks in with the snare drum and it sounds like a machine gun firing! The jam / song is twelve and a half minutes and listening is like watching a war movie with the minds eye.
"Who Knows" and "Power of Soul" are also some of my favorites. Here is the essence of the band's sound - Cox lays down bass riffs in a certain key, Miles is totally straightforward hammersingthe kick and snare. That's the groove - then there's Hendrix! What can I say? Fireworks, stratospheric? It must be experienced by the human ear to understand!
Band of Gypsies played the next night too and that was also recorded. Both complete shows are currently available through Experience Hendrix.