Miami Pop Festival

Music Review

21 Nov 2013
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Miami Pop Festival
Experience Hendrix

I was eating breakfast, BBC 6Music on the radio, then Sean Keaveny dropped Foxey Lady from this album and stopped me in my tracks. Lummy doesn’t fully express the effect that the track had on me that morning, but at least it’s polite. The sheer energy and power that Hendrix unleashed at the Miami Pop Festival was nothing short of phenomenal, and if it has that much power today there must have been some serious carnage down in Florida in the summer of ’68. Hendrix’s use of feedback is to use contemporary parlance, epic, and in truth rarely bettered. The studio albums are remarkable works but involved extra layers of guitar, bass and other elements, the live versions are just three instruments and a voice which have raw power that puts them on another plane.

Recorded by the remarkable Eddie Kramer at the time and mixed by the same wizard for this release over four decades later, this recording is the best encapsulation of the intensity, dexterity and imagination of rock’s most influential axe man I’ve encountered. It contains nine songs from the evening gig and two more from the afternoon of the same event, those two being the most incendiary numbers Foxey Lady and Fire. Tracks that make most so called rock gods sound limp but there’s more, Red House is as fine an example of electric blues as you could hope to hear. And it’s not just Jimi who’s on form the British guys, Mitch and Noel, are up to the mark as well, the drumming almost matching the ferocity of the guitar and the bass holding the whole thing in place.