Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsys

It was almost symbolic that Band of Gypsys was recorded on New Years Eve 1969/70. Jimi Hendrix had recently discarded his power trio, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and formed the Band of Gypsys with bass-player, Billy Cox and drummer, Buddy Miles. Whereas the Experience exemplified the grinding, baroque, psychedelic rock that largely defined the sixties, the Band of Gypsys exemplified the melodic, groove-heavy, socially and spiritually conscious funk that would largely define the seventies. This live album was the first Hendrix fans heard of the guitarist's new project. Most would not be disappointed. Hendrix's new style nicely sustains the absolutely wicked, inventive guitar-playing from which his reputation was born. His fluid, wavy, hypnotizing jamming scampers through the six tracks, becoming slightly overdone on the nine-minute "Who Knows" and the thirteen-minute "Machine Gun." Still, small sections of unstructured noodling can not stop "Who Knows" from excellently setting the album's funky tone or "Machine Gun" from being one of the most intense, dramatic and stunning songs inspired by Vietnam (Only Hendrix had the ingenuity and skill to make his instrument screech like a battlefield). The two other Hendrix-penned tracks, the groove-rocker, "Power to Love" and the fervent "Message to Love" are two of his most spirit-inspiring works and nicely showcase the Gyspsys' rapid-fire arrangements. Buddy Miles does more than keep the band steady with his fast-paced trouncing, he also contributes two excellent foot-stompers, "Changes" and "We Gotta Live Together." Miles himself would go on to become a star of the upcoming funk/soul movement.

Hendrix, tragically, would not live to see it. The artist would die of asphyxiation shortly after Band of Gypsys was released. Sadly, for Hendrix, this funkrock showstopper was not a sign of things to come, but a passing of the torch.


bulut on 5:23 pm said...


1. Who Knows
2. Machine Gun
3. Changes
4. Power To Love
5. Message of Love
6. We Gotta Live Together

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