The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Live at LA Forum 1969 – Review

This gritty rendition begins with a quick wave from Jimi in his familiar accent as he tunes his guitar. It’s surprising to think that this is the start of such a seminal show. Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s long-term producer and sound engineer, shared that this was typical for him, with a spartan crew of just 3 techies, he would just walk up, tune his guitar, and play effortlessly.

The album features all of Jimi’s classics (Purple Haze, Voodoo Child, Foxy Lady) and is mixed with lesser-known tracks like Tax Free, a cover of Swedish duo Hansson & Karlsson.

A particular highlight is Jimi’s version of the Star Spangled Banner, which became iconic in his Woodstock set a few months later. This remastered sound takes you right into the crowd, technology bringing you closer to his soaring solos and immersing you in the listening experience of the concert exactly as it was performed.

This would have been Jimi’s 80th birthday and, as his sister Janie says, he will always be 27. His shy, soft-spoken nature with a mischievous sense of humor showed in his home life, where: “He had all these fun little things and sarcastic. say, nothing harmful, and then I’d laugh. And then the whole family would say: What did he say, what did he say? He looked at me and just shook his head. Like, that’s our secret. Do not tell anyone”.

Eddie Kramer described the first time he heard Jimi play: “He struck a chord and my life changed in a nanosecond because that sound went through me. My hair stood up like, you know, I might have had an afro for as long as I could remember, but it was fabulous and devastating. That chord and I knew right there, okay, I have to up my game to keep up with this guy,” adding how the chords’ dynamic levels go from “a whisper to a roar.”

Listening to the album gives a similar feeling, with Eddie describing the exhilarating nature of their sound, warning listeners to “Hold on to your hats and your underwear!”. This album is the Jimi Hendrix experience, epitomizing the genius of him.

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