Monday, January 25, 2010
Jimi HENDRIX - Jimi By Himself 1968
The Home Recording
Something of this stature deserves a review. Out of all of the various Hendrix "bootlegs" I have acquired over the years, nothing even comes close to the quality of the sound presented here. It's as if you're sitting in Jimi's apartment with the master and just kicking back and listening to him play right fucking there. And the master fails to disappoint, breathing life into songs before they were ever recorded. If I could only keep one thing besides Hendrix' released material it would be this- hands down.
This is Jimi alone in his apartment in New York sometime in 1968, rehearsing songs that would be on Electric Ladyland with just a guitar, one mike, and a small amp.
The sound quality is what is absolutely stunning about these songs---there is virtually no tape hiss, dead silence in ambient background, just Jimi, playing very relaxed and laid-back. You can hear him turning pages of sheet music during some bridges and breaks between songs, and just when you think you've heard everything, the phone rings (and goes unanswered) near the end of the album.
I was trying to figure out why the sound quality on this would be so unbelieveable, and it dawned on me that at the time, guys like Jimi and Pete Townshend and the Stones could virtually afford the very best sound recording equipment available. So it's not a stretch to think of the best Neumann mike, the best Revox or Studer reel-to-reel being used to put these songs down.
There's not a lot of jaw-dropping pyrotechnics (although some picking during Voodoo Chile / Cherokee Mist is enough to make you shake your head), just lots of rhythm strumming and some great singing on these songs.
I've played these songs for a good friend of mine from England who is a record producer, and he was in shock, amazed to have heard just how fresh, raw (and brilliant) a solo rehearsal from Jimi could be.
Just another musician, sitting at home working on some tunes...
01 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) 7:45
02 Angel 3:28
03 Cherokee Jam 3:12
04 Hear My Train A Comin' 1:22
05 Voodoo Chile/Cherokee Mist 10:09
06 Gypsy Eyes 2:59