Dagger records releases
Here are all the Dagger Records releases to date. These are available from the official Hendrix site (see Links).
LIVE AT OAKLAND COLISEUM (1999)
LIVE AT CLARK UNIVERSITY - (1999)
MORNING SYMPHONY IDEAS - (2000)
LIVE IN OTTAWA - (2001)
THE BAGGYS REHEARSAL SESSIONS - (2003)
PARIS 1967 / SAN FRANCISCO 1968 - (2003)
HEAR MY MUSIC - (2004)
LIVE AT THE ISLE OF FEHMARN - (2005)
BURNING DESIRE - (2006)
LIVE 1968 - Paris/Ottawa - (2008)
LIVE AT WOBURN - (2009)
LIVE IN COLOGNE - (2012)
GEORGES CLUB 65/66 - (2017)
LIVE AT OAKLAND COLISEUM
Released 1999 (Dagger Records)
Fire, Hey Joe, Spanish Castle Magic, Hear My Train A Comin', Red House, Foxy Lady, Star Spangled Banner, Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
A Dagger Records mail order only release. This first release by the label is a remarkably good quality audience recording, in mono, of the Experience (April 27 1969), and has been remastered under Eddie Kramer's supervision. The problem with so many audience tapes (particularly from this era), is that the recordings lack fidelity to fully appreciate the shows. Here however, all instruments come across pretty well (even the drums if one boosts the treble) giving a balanced overall sound.
On "Hey Joe", Jimi slips in some anti-vietnam war comments into the lyrics. As usual "Spanish Castle Magic" has some fine solo explorations from Jimi. For "Voodoo Chile" Noel Redding plays rhythm guitar when the band are joined again by Jack Casady on bass (as at the Winterland 68 gigs). Jimi introduces him as Jack Bruce (of Cream) by mistake at the end ! This gig took place the night after the LA Forum gig that was put out in the "Lifelines" set and again you can sense Jimi's more distant manner. He had his reasons, the incessant touring, which he had long since had enough of, aswell as the collapse of relations within the band and with his management.
More concerts, studio tapes and home demos are promised from Dagger Records. Keep in touch with the official web site (www.jimi-hendrix.com) for details of this and future releases.
Lively typo and it does show Jimi at the actual gig - 7/10
LIVE AT CLARK UNIVERSITY
Released 1999 (Dagger Records) - Mail order only
Interview JimiFire/Red House/Foxy Lady/Purple Haze/Wild Thing/Interview Noel/Interview Mitch/Interview Jimi
Another mail-order only release from Dagger records, available on the official Hendrix site. An excellent mono soundboard recording this time, and it's back to March 1968 and a rare chance to hear the Experience on their 2nd American tour in Worcester, Massachusetts. This is mainly an interview disc (40 minutes of chat for only 30 minutes of music). Excellent interviews in fact, where Jimi talks with enthusiasm and at length about his past, present and future to a meticulous and insistant interviewer (Alan Palmer ?).
The excerpts of the gig are superb, capturing the force of the Jimi Hendrix Experience on a regular tour date in 1968 ("… these are early days" says Jimi in the first interview). "Red House" features the up-tempo arrangement like on the original studio version. The tape slips a little at the beginning of "Purple Haze" and "Wild Thing" (reminding me that those tracks used to be on the "Broadcasts" bootleg all those years ago). "Foxy Lady" is perfect and that "Wild Thing" is even better than the Monterey version (Noels co-vocals come across very well). The band played two sets that night and Jimi played "The Star Spangled Banner" for the first known occasion but it is unfortunately absent here.
Some of the gig was filmed by Alan Palmer and sequences turned up in his 55 minute film "All My Loving" later in the year and since then in various documentaries.
Photo from the gig I think. Nice idea to put Jimi's name in the spotlight - 8/10
MORNING SYMPHONY IDEAS
Released 2000 (Dagger Records) - Mail order only
Keep On Grooving/Jungle/Room Full Of Mirrors/Strato Strut/Scorpio Woman/Acoustic Dem
This is not an unfinished symphony of Jimi's, as the title misleadingly suggests, but jams with Buddy Miles in late 1969, as the two explore ideas at The Record Plant studio in New York, essentially looking for new riffs.
This stuff was only ever intended for his own ears and I'm sure Jimi would be bloody furious if he knew this sort of thing was being put out. Still, for absolute Hendrix nuts, it's always a treat to hear him doodling around for ideas. It's like the privilege of going through a great artist's sketchbook.
"Keep On Groovin" clocks in at 28 minutes and goes through various rhythmic structures with some nice soloing here and there. It encompasses snippets of "Power Of Soul", "Burning Desire" and "Tryin' To Be" ("Steppin' Stone") which has a brief vocal, but this jam doesn't seem to relate to the "Keep On Groovin" that Jimi sometimes worked into "Voodoo Child" or "Midnight Lightning".
"Jungle" begins a little like "Hey Baby" then merges into the recognisable riffs of "Villanova Junction", "Ezy Ryder"and "South Saturn Delta".
The embyonic "Room Full Of Mirrors" from September '69 has a vocal from Jimi, before it goes into improvisation, finishing off with a little of "Message To Love".
Billy Cox is a welcome addition when he joins Jimi and Buddy for the funky "Strato Strut", the most "finished" track here, after which Jimi calls out "...Save that".
"Scorpio Woman" is Jimi alone at Maui, though not from the actual gigs there. It begins with a nice improvised vocal then ambles along for 20 minutes, going through "Midnight Lighning" and "Run with The Devil" (a hit in 1968 for the group Gun) the riff of which Jimi often incorporated into his live shows in 1970.
The last short track is Jimi at home in early 1970 and lasts only a minute as a coda.
A handsome two-tone blend of Jimi in a relaxed mood and signed with his own handwriting - 7/10
LIVE IN OTTAWA
Released 2001 (Dagger Records) - Mail order only
Killing Floor/Tax Free/Fire/Red House/Foxy Lady/Hey Joe/Spanish Castle Magic/Purple Haze/Wild Thing (incomplete)
This time Dagger Records take us to a Canadien performance (March 19, 1968) recorded just five days after the Clark University gig already featured on a Dagger release. These very good quality soundboard tapes have circulated for years on bootlegs albums such as the aptly titled "Magic Fingers"(which sounded a bit speeded up).
This is a great show with The Experience in good spirits and playing well. There is a lot of tape hiss but the sound is nice and raw with Jimi's guitar right in your face. The mood is similar to that on "Stages 68" (Paris Olympia) finding Jimi bubbling with energy and humour, his playing rich with inventivity, despite the usual equipment hang-ups. At one stage Jimi treats us to his impersonation of Bill Cosby who was in the audience. "Hey Joe" features the band's "1948 re-arrangement". The totally wild version of "Purple Haze" had appeared previously on the officially approved Univibes release "Calling Long Distance" released in the nineties. "Wild Thing" unfortunately cuts out early as the tape ran out (they should have left it off). Great version of "Tax Free" in there.
A helluva good JHE live album, this was nominated for a Grammy in the best "archive release" categorie ! I kid you not.
I don't think the photo of Jimi is from 1968. I beleive he only started wearing headbands like that in 1969. That aside, the montage is great and the typo neat, making this a tasteful cover - 9/10
THE BAGGYS REHEARSAL SESSIONS
Released 2003 (DAGGER RECORDS) - Mail order only
Burning Desire/Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon)/Message To Love/Ezy Ryder/Power Of Soul/Earth Blues/Changes (Miles)/Lover Man/We Gotta Live Together (Miles)/Baggy's Jam/Earth Blues/Burning Desire
This is a candid peek at the ill fated Band Of Gypsys in rehearsals (at Baggys Studios) for their New Years gigs at the Fillmore East 69/70. We had a rather disappointing glimpse of these sessions on "Loose Ends", and those two sluggish tracks open the proceedings here. With their awkward sound, the band appear rather weak as they drearily feel around their repertoire. Miles and Cox play forcefully but Jimi is very relaxed and a little half-hearted in his approach (these were only rehearsals). A few tracks aren't too bad, "Message To Love", "Ezy Ryder" and "Lover Man" for example, and it's fun to hear the band in good spirits and acting the fool. However, I think it is a good job that this only came out for hard-core fans on Dagger. It is "interesting" with a few neat little solos here and there, but tedious on the whole. On stage at The Fillmore their playing continued in similar fashion but with a little more punch and did produce some very inspired moments.
Jimi had a vision of something original and magnificent but the undoubtably talented Buddy Miles was perhaps not the right ingredient for what he had in mind.
The light hearted "Little Drummer Boy", "Silent Night" and "Auld Lang Syne" released on "Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year" were also recorded during these sessions. Also, two extra Baggy's tracks can be heard on the official website in the "Multimedia" section.
Nice to see A Band Of Gypsys clearly presented on a cover. Very tasteful presentation - 8/10
PARIS 1967 / SAN FRANCISCO 1968
Released 2003 (Dagger records) - Mail order only
Stone Free , Hey Joe , Fire , Rock Me Baby , Red House , Purple Haze , Wild Thing
Live At The Olympia Theater, Paris, France, October 9, 1967
Killing Floor , Red House , Catfish Blues , Dear Mr. Fantasy (Part 1) , Dear Mr. Fantasy (Part 2) (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) , Purple Haze (incomplete)A nice surprise from Dagger Records with these fantastic soundboard recordings of The Experience on fine form.
Live At The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA. February 4, 1968 [Second Show]
The Paris 67 recordings are superb, the atmosphere being similar to the 1968 show of three months later (already released as "Stages 68"). Two numbers from this 1967 gig were included on the 2000 box set:"The Wind Cries Mary" and "Catfish Blues" which faded out due to sound problems, spoiling the recording on the night. "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" and "Foxy Lady" suffered the same fate and are also absent here. Those losses are more than compensated by another great "Rock Me Baby" (the only other live one released being from Monterey) and more importantly "Stone Free" (the only early Experience concert recording of the song released to date !).
For the Fillmore gig Jimi apologises that the band don't have their own PA, but the sound captured on tape is just great and he is bubbling with musical ideas even though the performance is rather laclustre and plodding in parts. Jimi does sound tired out as he speaks over the microphone and even the audience seem half asleep. Incredibly, Mitch Mitchell leaves the drum seat to Buddy Miles who sits in for an instrumental cover of Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (Buddy Miles Express were support band to The Experience around this time). So Jimi, Buddy and Noel take off for a fascinating free-form jam (which is unfortunately cut in half as the tape had to be changed in the middle !). A precious document. Tape length apparently also posed a problem for "Purple Haze", which cuts out just before the final crunch.
Advice: if you have already bought "Blue Wild Angel", sell it and buy this.
Bravo Dagger !
> You can see Jimi performing "Wild Thing" at this Olympia show on the "Experience" video - see Film section
> The unfortunate "Foxy Lady" from the Olympia concert can be heard on the bootleg "Je vous aime beaucoup".
> The Paris tracks turned up in 2009 on coloured vinyl as part of a re-release luxury pack of "Live 1968: Paris/Ottawa" (see further down).
A nice treatment for this graphically pure design. A good complete package too - 8/10
You can listen to this gig on-line at Wolfgang's Vault
> The San Francisco tracks (minus the incomplete "Purple Haze") were used for a free bonus disc with the recent Winterland box set - see bottom of page.
HEAR MY MUSIC
Released November 2004 (Dagger Records)
Slow Version, Drone Blues (complete), Ezy Ryder/Star Spangled Banner, Jimi/Jimmy Jam (complete), Jam 292 (complete), Trash Man, Message To Love (alternate), Gypsy Blood, Valleys Of Neptune [Guitar], Blues Jam At Olympic, Valleys Of Neptune (piano)
A welcome release from Dagger, with this new collection of studio jams and outtakes recorded in early 1969 in London and New York. Always a pleasure to receive these, complete with a Seattle postmark. It's in the same vein as "Morning Syphony Ideas" in that it features only instrumentals, but this release is a far more satisfying affair, crammed full of intense guitar workouts from Jimi with many different musicians.
There are a few familiar numbers in there of couse, the fantastic "Jam 292" ("Loose Ends), plus "Drone Blues" and "Jimi/Jimmy Jam" ("Nine To The Universe") but this time in all their unedited glory. That last one for example lasts 17 minutes and is perhaps the best jam ever captured of Jimi and other musicians in sheer interaction. At the beginning Jimi puts in a few phrases of "Villanova Junction" before the track goes on into uncharted territory. It features Mitch with Jim McCarty (of Buddy Miles Express and later Cactus) and Dave Holland (or perhaps the Express bassist, Roland Robinson). "Jam 292" features the intro this time (like the "Jelly 292" that appeared on ":Blues") rather than the tedious fade-in of "Loose Ends". Some stunning guitar on that track.
"Drone Blues" has Cox on bass with some superb drumming by Rocky Isaac (and not Mitch as "Nine To The Universe" stated). It is of course a terrific jam with Jimi throwing in riffs he also used in "Drivin' South" and "Midnight Lightning". The recording underlines the sheer brilliance of Jimi's improvisational abilities.
Unfortunately, now we know that we will not be seeing an expanded re-release of the "Nine To The Universe" album which is a shame in a way. Dagger (or MCA) save the other tracks for a later release.
The nice surprise is four tracks by The Jimi Hendrix Experience Ladies and Gentlemen, three of which were recorded on the same day at Olympic Studios on February 14, 1969, so just before the Albert Hall gigs. "Slow Version" sets the tone of the album straight away, a heavy blues with some great soloing, similar in feel to "Hear My Train" at the outset. The "Ezy Ryder/Star Spangled Banner" is great fun (not the same as the other and often bootlegged proto "Ezy Ryder" also known as "Mushy Name"). It is Take 25 of 35 takes ! That is a lot of takes to get this far. No wonder Noel couldn't take recording sessions anymore. This take blasts in with that killer riff and eventually goes into improvisation before Jimi takes it through a superb "Star Spangled Banner". The"Blues Jam At Olympic" just kills you off, with Jimi laying into his wah-wah as Mitch and Noel drive on a basic rhythm similar to "Message To Love" or "Spanish Castle Magic". Finally "Trash Man" (which Alan Dougles had overdubbed on his "Midnight Lightning" album, thirty years ago, my God) features The Experience in New York's Olmstead Studios. It begins as "Midnight" then veers off into improvisation before Jimi puts in that lovely passage which sounds a little like a blend of "1983" and "Third Stone From The Sun".
The four other tracks provide some calmer moments and were all recorded on February 22 at Olympic. They are more like what we got on "Morning Symphony Ideas", featuring Jimi alone in the studio, going through an early (and monotonous) sketch of "Message To Love", "Gypsy Blood" (which is a very brief "Little Wing"-like improvisation) and two relatively uninteresting stabs at "Valleys Of Neptune" rhythms, one on guitar, the other with Jimi on piano ! Those tracks are "interesting" but do get in way somewhat and the disc would have been neater without them.
The piano player on "Jam 292" turns out to be Sharon Layne (?).
"Drone Blues", Jimi/Jimmy Jam" - previously edited down on "Nine To Universe" (1980)
"Jam 292" - previously edited down on "Loose Ends" (1975) - alternate version on ":Blues"
Same principal as "Morning Symphony Ideas" with a nice use of Jimi's handwriting over an appropriate tinted studio photo. Perfect for what it is. - 10/10
LIVE AT THE ISLE OF FEHMARN
Release date December 13, 2005 (Dagger records) - Mail order only
Killing Floor, Spanish Castle Magic, All Along The Watchtower, Hey Joe, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Message To Love, Foxey Lady, Red House, Ezy Ryder, Freedom, Room Full Of Mirrors, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Here come Dagger again with this very historic concert. Jimi's very last* on September 6, 1970 during the Love & Peace Festival held on the Isle Of Fehmarn in Germany. Again, the posters at the time said "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and the Hendrix Estate perpetuate that annoyingly, attributing this CD to that group. This is of course Jimi, Mitch and Billy !
Recordings of this concert have circulated among collectors for many, many years. There are two known sources, a "windy" audience tape and a "stage" tape, which was the source for this release. Dagger claim that this is a newly discovered tape that was until recently in the possession of the promoters. It is not soundboard unfortunately but from two michrophones that were suspended above the stage. Dagger do state that the quality of their release is similar to their previous Oakland Colisem CD, but this a little better I feel, even if the vocals are slightly diminished. Note also that the beginning of "Purple Haze" is missing here.
I in fact prefer the audience recording of the concert (which has been widely available in shops for the last year as a bonus on the unofficial Burning Airlines release "LA Forum - 26th April 1969"). That recording, despite the interference of wind and rain, features much clearer vocals and guitar from Jimi, so his emotions come over much better.
There is also an excellent "merge" version circulating among collectors, which combines three sources.
This final European tour, which Jimi didn't want to do, was pretty catastrophic. It began with the disappointing Isle Of Wight show and continued with dates at Stockholm, Gothenburg, Aarhus (disastrous), Copenhagen, Berlin and finally to Fehmarn Island, where the tour was abandoned as Billy Cox became ill (he does look troubled on the liner photos). The performance at Fehmarn is among the best of the short tour and Jimi was perhaps coming into his stride, his playing precise and more enthusisatic than on the other dates. Copenhagen is considered to be the best performance of the tour (unfortunately it wasn't professionally recorded).
As he takes the stage at Fehmarn, he is jeered at by some irate bikers but carries on regardless, responding to them with "Killing Floor", which he hadn't performed since early 1969 (if my research is correct). The set continues in good fashion through sun, rain and fighting in the audience. Towards the end, you feel that Jimi is hurrying things along a little. At the close of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" after singing "If I don't see you no more in this world..." the wild man of rock reappears for the very last time for a flashy teeth picked guitar climax. Goodbye Jimi.
*After this last gig Jimi did briefly appear as a guest at a gig by Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London , on September 16 only two days before his death. He only jammed loosley on "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road". The following night he was supposed to accompany Mitch to a jam with Sly Stone but uncharacteristically he never turned up.
> The first editions of this CD were slightly speeded up, loosing Jimi's usual tuning! They were quickly withdrawn and corrected copies were sent out to those who had ordered the faulty one.
A very bootleg-like approach, very much like The Who's classic "Live At Leeds" but compensated by a nice booklet as usual (within the Didgipack), the cover of which is a moving portrait of a jovial Hendrix reclining in the grass at Fehmarn Island. - 1/10
Release date: December 12, 2006 (Dagger Records) - Mail order only
Izabella, Ezy Ryder/MLK [aka Captain Coconut], Cherokee Mist/Astro Man, Record Plant 2X, Villanova Junction Blues, Burning Desire, Stepping Stone/Villanova Junction Blues, Slow Time Blues
The fourth release of studio outtakes from Dagger Records and this one features the Band Of Gypsys laying down ideas in November 1969 and January 1970. I find this collection much more interesting than the previous ones covering a similar period, namely "Morning Symphony Ideas" and "Baggys Reheasals". No vocals here but some more accomplished driving rock jams, with Miles and Cox locking together well, supporting Jimi as he plays some stunning guitar. Here's a look at the tracks.
An unspectacular rhythmic run-through with some organ accompanyment (by Miles ?). In the middle, Jimi goes into the riff from "Come Down Hard On Me Baby" and a nice gritty guitar overdub comes in before a snatch of a "Freedom" riff, then back to the main theme. As it ends, Jimi seems to be going into "Machine Gun".
"Ezy Ryder"/"MLK" (20:01)
This is brilliant. There isn't much recognisable as "Ezy Ryder" in there, as the band blast away with Jimi freely throwing in everthing he's got. I have always had reserves about the cohesion of Band Of Gypsys but here they sound terrific. This whole 20 minute jam justifies the purchase in itself.
After about 13 minutes, Jimi slows things down as he drifts into the superb and beautiful "MLK". It is not confirmed that this was a hommage to Martin Luther King, the three letters were simply on the tape box*. Towards the end, Jimi plays some "Cherokee Mist" which points us to the following track.
*Part of "MLK" was used in an experimental collage by Electric Lady engineer John Jansen in the early seventies that eventually turned up on Alan Douglas' montage album "Crash Landing", as "Captain Coconut".
"Cherokee Mist/Astro Man" (4:53)
Only a minute and a half of the "Cherokee Mist" melody before Jimi gets his teeth into that gorgeous descending "Astro Man" riff. This is far from the finished structure of the song but a nice funky jam.
"Record Plant 2X" (11:03)
Another killer rock jam from the band. Just after playing a neat "Villanova Junction Blues" (which is awkwardly placed as the following track on this CD), the band are back at full tilt like on the "Ezy Ryder/MLK" recorded the same day. This just tears along as Jimi plays some searing rock guitar. Then he goes into a flurry of strumming which resembles the "Woodstock Improvisation". Unfortunately the jam then fades out and the rest of it crops up on the last track as "Slow Time Blues". It is a shame really that the jam wasn't delivered here in its complete form as it had been on the unofficial releases that were "Villanova Junction" (Burning Airlines) and "Am I Blue" (Purple Haze Records).
"Villanova Junction Blues" (4:56)
As I said, this is the beginning of the previous track. It does stand alone well, as at the end the band practically stop while Jimi tunes up. This is beautiful and the best studio version of the song which was made famous by the Woodstock performance. As it slows at the end, Jimi instructs the band to "do some jungle sounds".
"Burning Desire" (9:48)
This complex song was never one of my favourites and this instrumental jab at it doesn't arrange things. It takes me back to the dreary experience of sitting through "Loose Ends" in the seventies which featured the Baggys rehearsals version.
"Stepping Stone/Villanova Junction Blues" (6:38)
At the beginning of this, the band play the riff from "Calling All Devils Children". Then things chug along, going into riffs of "Stepping Stone" then "Ezy Ryder" (or at least the old "Dance" riff) as Miles hammers away. It finally slows to "Villanova Junction Blues".
Slow Time Blues" (3:49)
The conclusion of track four ! Again, it's a pity it wasn't left in its right place. That aside, it is a great funky blues jam which Jimi takes momentarily through the "Jam 292" riff among others. It unfortunately fades out at the end.
So, despite the unnecessary splitting up of the "Villanova Junction Blues" jam, this is an overall pleasing collection of jams with some amazing guitar work from the man. Not quite up to level of "Hear My Music" but worthwhile for any keen Hendrix fan with an already established collection.
A nice shot of Jimi in reflexion as he listens to a playback one imagines (or as he chooses a chocolate). Fancy typo for the sake of it and some funky wallpaper. - 7/10
LIVE 1968 - Paris/Ottawa
Release date August 26, 2008 (Dagger Records)
L'OLYMPIA THEATRE IN PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 29, 1968
Killing Floor, Catfish Blues, Foxy Lady, Red House, Drivin' South, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, Little Wing, Purple Haze
CAPITOL THEATRE, OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA - MARCH 19, 1968 [1st SHOW]
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fire, Purple Haze
This is a great CD but we have already had most of it before ! Yes, that Olympia show is the same one that was in the "Stages" box set. That was of course an expensive purchase at the time so the recording was not that accessible. However, since the 90s, that recording has been in the shops many many times on unofficial labels (see list below) so its release on Dagger, which usually supplies us with genuine rarities and previously unheard of recordings, is rather surprising and very disappointing. This version does benefit from a Kramer remastering however.
The concert was recorded in early 1968 at the famous Paris Olympia Theatre where we find the Experience riding on a crest of a wave. The band are in such good humour on this clear mono recording, which captures the excitement of the European concerts of the epoch. It's a delight to hear Jimi in such a playful mood. Interesting that on "Red House" , Noel plays his bass parts on a six string guitar (borrowed off Kieth Richards backstage) just like on the original studio version (that track had appeared a year earlier on "Lifelines"). There is a rare live performance of "Drivin' South" also, which ends dramatically as Jimi creates the sound of a car screaming towards us. A great little show and what a set list !
The real event on this CD is the addition of three songs from the first set at Ottawa in 1968 (Dagger have of course already put out the second set, see further up). Extracts of the songs can be heard on the Authentic Hendrix site and they sound great. Only three songs however. Does this mean that this is all there is ? Here is the setlist for the first show (according to Ben Valkhoff's book "Eyewitness": Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fire, Foxy Lady, Red House, I Don't Live Today, Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary . Tony Brown's "Concert Files" does not mention the last two tracks there.
On Ebay recently, an ex Electric Lady Studios engineer offered for sale some copy tapes that he had made in 1975. The tapes had been authentified by Experience Hendrix who where following the sale, to make sure that the tapes remain simply collectors items. Exerpts of the recordings were on-line and they revealed that the content was essentially work-in-progress studio tracks, very similar to all the material now circulating as bootlegs. However, one track caught my ear. It was a version of "Little Wing" that has never surfaced in any form before. It sounded to me like a studio rehearsal at first. I informed the seller, who promptly withdrew the track from the sale in respect to his obligations to the Hendrix Estate. He was informed by John McDermott that the song in question was from the first show at Ottawa ! "Little Wing" has never been mentioned in archived set lists as being played during the first show. If that is the case, why isn't the track on this CD ? Is the song incomplete ? Does Jimi mess it up ? Perhaps this product was already in fabrication before they had the time to insert the song. Maybe one day the track will resurface and the mystery will be solved.
All in all, this is a very good CD but let's hope that in future, Experience Handrix will feed us with much rarer recordings rather than use Dagger as an outlet for re-releases.
Paris Olympia 68 previously on "Stages 68" and the following unofficial releases:
- "Astro Man" (Burning Airlines)
- "Live At Paris Olympia" (Radioactive)
- "Axis Bolder Than Love" (Purple Haze)
- "Live & Unleashed" (Rock Of Ages Export)
Is that Jimi at Ottawa ? It's a very nice cover in any case - 8/10
This album was re-released on Dagger Records in 2009 as a luxury package with a T-shirt, poster, badges etc, plus a coloured vinyl pressing of the tracks from the Paris 67 show which had already appeared on the "Paris 1967/San Francisco 1968" Dagger release of 2003.
LIVE AT WOBURN
Release date JULY 2009 (Dagger Records)
Introduction (1:07), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1:11), Fire (4:19), Tax Free (10:11), Red House (11:30), Foxey Lady (4:55), Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (6:38), Purple Haze (8:10)
What a pleasant surprise it was to find this CD announced for release. Hendrix fans around the planet have been holding their breath in anticipation of the official release of the entire Albert Hall 69 concert and up pops this legendary uncirculated concert recording.
For decades, this was known to be in the possession of master Hendrix archivist and writer Caesar Glebeek who held on to the tape, waiting to share it with us all when the copyright claim would expire (50 years after the artist's death). Then came the announcement that the tape had been sold at auction to an unknown buyer. I had the impression that it was not Experience Hendrix but finally here it is on Dagger. Many thanks to them to getting this to us rapidly.
Through 1966 and 1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at around 165 British venues. From then on Mike Jeffrey maintained bookings in the United States and it's more stadium venues. This performance was important back in 1968 as it was the band's only UK date of that year. The following UK concerts were tot be the February 1969 gigs at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
So here we are at one of the earliest rock festivals in Britain on July 6, 1968 the Woburn Music Festival in Bedfordshire, England. Also on the bill were John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner, Geno Washington, Pentangle, Roy Harper, and the man who inspired Jimi to play "Hey Joe" Tim Rose ! The Experience were top of the bill for the Saturday evening show in front of 14,000 people.
This is what not professionally recorded but is a very good quality soundboard recording despite the presence of a few technical glitches and buzzings. The first track cuts in s the tape recorder was a little late in starting. A standard Experience set list with the band previewing "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" which not appear on record until the following October. We are treated to another live rendition of "Tax Free" also.
A pretty simple patchwork of photos of Jimi performng at the concert. - 7/10
SAN FRANCISCO 1968 - bonus disc with the Winterland CD box set*
Release September 2011 (Dagger)
Killing Floor , Red House , Catfish Blues and Dear Mr. Fantasy (Parts 1 & 2)
This is nice little gift from Experience Hendrix to the fans who don't already have the Dagger CD "Paris 67/San Francisco 68"(see above) from which these tracks are taken.
This was recorded at the Fillmore West, San Francisco on February 4th, 1968. The original 2003 Dagger CD featured one extra track, "Purple Haze" but it was incomplete, missing the very end of the song, so this must be why they decided to drop it here, to keep things neat for a regular industry distribution.
*Only available through certain distribution channels.
This is a simple cardboard sleeve.That must be Jimi in action at the Fillmore West. Nice. - 8/10
LIVE IN COLOGNE
Released 2012 (Dagger Records)
Side 1: Come On (Let The Good Times Roll), Foxy Lady
Side 2: Red House, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Side 3: Fire, Spanish Castle Magic, Hey Joe
Side 4: Sunshine Of Your Love: Star Spangled Banner: Purple Haze
At long last, a new Dagger release! I knew this would appear one day and it is being made available on what would have been Jimi's 70th birthday. The recording was in the audio streaming section of the official site a few years ago. It was the best sounding show that they had on streaming so that's why it was quickly pulled, to keep it aside for an eventual Dagger release. So it's a familiar show that has also been circulating for years as a bootleg.It's great to hear Jimi blast in with "Come On (Part 1)" (as it was titled on "Electric Ladyland") and this is the first appearance of a live version of the song on an official release. The rest is the regular repertoire of the 1969 tours with Jimi still leaning heavily on his 1967 material. It's a standard tour date for the band who were falling apart at this stage (they had announced their up-coming split in order to persue personnal projects). So it does sound a little "routine" here and there, with Jimi sometimes hurrying things along. As usual however, the performance is loaded with some stunning guitar playing. "Red House" is fantastic but has slight drop in loudness at one point. "Purple Haze" features a simply amazingly frantic and extreme finale from Jimi.
This is a double vinyl only release and it's strange that a CD version isn't available. Buyers will get a code number permitting them to download an MP3 version for their portable players or burn it to disc.
This recording of the performance at the Sporthalle, Cologne Germany (13 January 1969) from the short North European tour has quite good sound. It's from a very good quality audience tape but it sounds more like a rough soundboard recording. There are some fluctuations but on the whole, all instruments come across well and Jimi's guitar is nice and raw.
The bootleg tape does suffer from speed problems so let's hope that they corrected it for this release.
A nice photo but we have seen it so many times before (it was used in the late 80s for the cover of "Live & Unreleased - The Radio Show" and the various artists tribute album "Searching For Jimi Hendrix"). I would have preferred a more exhuberant stage photo. 5/10
CURTIS KNIGHT / JIMI HENDRIX - Live At George's Club 20, 1965 & 1966 - NEW RELEASE
Release: March 2017 (Dagger Records)
Killing Floor, Last Night, Get Out Of My Life Woman, Ain’t That Peculiar, Mercy, Mercy, I’m A Man, Driving South, Baby What You Want Me To Do, I’ll Be Doggone, Sweet Little Angel, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Travelin’ To California, What I Say, Land Of 1000 Dances, Come On
More of the PPX Enterprises tapes that Experience Hendrix have obtained the rights to publish themselves, this time on Dagger Records. These live recordings (Georges Club 20, Hackensack, New Jersey on December 26 1965 and January 22 1966) have of course been released a multitude of times on various labels since the late 60s and it's interesting to hear what Eddie Kramer has done with them.
On these recordings it seems that the band (in fact called The Lovelights at that point) were playing to an empty hall as Knight pretends to address an audience. You can hear that this made Jimmy crack up, laughing presumably at the absurdity of it all. So it would seem that the recordings were done as a demonstration tape the help the band get club engagements. The numerous Ed Chalpin releases of these recordings featured rather intrusive overdubs of club noise and even an additional rhythm section, in an attempt to improve the sound. On this Dagger album however, the instrumental overdubs have been taken off (although it seems that a little bass is still present on a couple of songs but it's quite subtle). Some of the fake club background noise is still in there, though much more subdued (perhaps the raw tapes are lost forever?). Sometimes it sounds like the band are in an empty club, or at least with a handful of people and there is no applause whatsoever throughout the recordings presented here. So the tapes are more honestly presented but it's not as if there's a great improvement on the overall sound. The quality varies in fact, as the two "gigs" were recorded on different tape recorders. You could say that this is the Hendrix equivalent of The Beatles' Star Club tapes.
Despite the rough sound, this is definitely the most interesting pre-Experience album there is, being the closest to where Jimmy was heading for in the near future. Four songs played here for example were later in The Experience's repertoire - "Killing Floor", "Driving South", "Mercy Mercy and "Land Of A 1000 Dances" (they played the latter song during one or two of their very early gigs according to Noel Redding). Also, "Travelling To California" comes over as a sort of blueprint of "Red House" (which was also partially built around Elmore James' "The Sky IsCrying"). However, the song listed as "Come On" isn't an early version of the song that Jimi covered on Electric Ladyland at all. On some past releases the song has also been titled "Hard Night" but it's in fact built on Freddie King's "Just Picking" (Jimi seems to introduce it as "Stop F*ckin' Eatin". Perhaps the sparse "audience" was eating rather than listening). It's really just a platform for Jimmy to showcase his soloing.
It's important to understand that, unlike the other pre-Experience recordings, Jimmy is no longer the stifled guitarist in the back row here. He's up-front as the co-frontman of the band. He even sings the lead vocals on many numbers here: "Killing Floor", I'm A Man", "What'd I Say", "Get Out My Life Woman", "Land Of A 1000 Dances", "Come On" and Albert King's "Travellin' To California" (also known as "California Night"). He sounds very confident on these recordings, singing very well and playing some brilliant guitar solos on practically every song (the exceptions being "Aint That Peculiar", "Mercy Mercy", "I'll Be Doggone" and "What'd I Say").
Alongside Jimmy and Curtis Knight on these recordings are Harry Jensen (rhythm guitar), Ace Hall (bass), Ditto Edwards and George Bragg (drums) plus Lonnie Youngblood (sax on a few songs). Jimmy would of course team up with Youngblood for later studio work.
One big error in the sleevenotes which say "This is what Chas Chandler heard when he first encountered Jimmy James in the summer of 1966". That is incorrect as Chas saw Jimmy for the first time in July '66 at The Café Wha? playing with his own band (6 months after the George Club recordings). In fact Jimi had played his last gig with Curtis Knight in May '66. No, these tapes are closer to what Linda Keith saw when she discovered the unknown Jimmy at The Cheetah Club in May 1966 while he was still gigging alongside Curtis Knight.
The recordings are even closer to what Les Paul saw in December 1965 when he saw Jimmy playing in a Lodi (New Jersey) night club. Soon after the performance, Paul tried to track Jimmy down in order to sign him but couldn't find any trace of him. In 1967 he saw his face on the cover of Are You Experienced and realised it was the ace guitarist that he had seen in that New Jersey club in December 1965!
> Here's more in-depth review of the album over at earlyhendrix.com
Killing Floor, Last Night, Get Out Of My Life Woman, I’m A Man, Driving South, Sweet Little Angel, Travelin’ To California, Come On (Just Picking)
> "Bleeding Heart" (also known as "Left Alone") appeared on some PPX albums but is absent (presumably because the tape cut out half way through).
> The radio documentary which was released as a box set titled "Lifelines" in 1990 featured this version of "I'm A Man".
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