|Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock|
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Jimi Hendrix's appearance at Woodstock may have been one of his most celebrated performances, as the producers of this DVD put it. But it would be a stretch to call it one of his greatest. By the time the guitarist finally took the stage, weather and endless logistical delays had pushed the show to Monday morning, a day after the festival was supposed to have ended. By then, the audience was too tired, hungry, wet, and stoned for Hendrix's set to be the expected apocalyptic finale. Hendrix himself was reportedly so wasted that he collapsed from exhaustion as soon as he left the stage.
Woodstock was the first gig by the Gypsy Sun and Rainbows band, a cross between the song-oriented focus of the original Experience (with drummer Mitch Mitchell) and the jam-happy Band of Gypsys (with bass player Billy Cox). Three other musicians, a rhythm guitarist and two percussionists, were on hand as well, but they are virtually inaudible in the audio mix and all but invisible in the film. That's not all bad; what we get instead are many close-ups of the guitarist at work, including shots of his enormous hands effortlessly navigating the frets and strings of his Stratocaster. And this is Jimi Hendrix we're talking about here, still the greatest rock guitar player ever. So while some of the set--a combination of familiar hits ("Fire,""Purple Haze,""Red House"), newer material "(Izabella"), and several jams--is perfunctory, there are moments of brilliance, like the blazing white noise he musters up on "Voodoo Child." In the end, any footage of Jimi Hendrix is worth having, as there isn't all that much of it around. But from a strictly musical standpoint, there's plenty of better live Hendrix out there, including on the four-CD box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience. --Sam Graham
|title:||Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock|
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|fullTitle:||Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock|
John Head (III)