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DVD/Video/Film Reviews

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at Monterey

By Published: January 12, 2008

The presence of an additional track on the corresponding audio CD—containing the entire performance in that format—is not mere mercenary marketing either: "Can You See Me was never captured on video. Kramer, Hendrix' engineer for much of his later work, does a practically remarkable job sculpting 5.1 and stereo mixes from the source; Wally Heider's recording itself was a step above the usual facilities and deliberately so, as noted by Monterey co-producer Lou Adler in the DVD interview: these performers were getting a higher quality of support in keeping with the novel concept of the festival.

It's only after noticing his repeated hurried comments (including his sputtered expression of gratitude) that it may dawn on a viewer how nervous Jimi Hendrix must have been at his American homecoming. But the authority with which he played, not to mention the psychedelic superstud persona he enacted, gives little evidence he was anything but exactly sure of what he wanted to do. Only Pete Townshend's (The Who) account of how Hendrix gave him a dare to determine which of the two acts would follow the other at Monterey Pop provides any insight into that aspect of this event.

The absence of more such pertinent perspective is this package's few shortfalls, and it's a minor one to be sure. It's more than amply balanced by the visual inventiveness of the DVD medium, not to mention the flashy nature of the content itself. As a result, there's an underlying irony to The Jimi Hendrix Experience Live at Monterey that's impossible to ignore, particularly if you're familiar with the more experimental avenues the leader sought out later in his career. The image portrayed here via "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze" is the prevailing impression of the man, exactly that which he would later fight as he worked to progress as a musician prior to his untimely death in 1970. There is no denying he got our attention, though, and no doubt he deserved it once he did.

Tracks: DVD: Killing Floor; Foxey Lady; Like a Rolling Stone; Rock Me Baby; Hey Joe; The Wind Cries Mary; Purple Haze; Wild Thing; "American Landing"; "A Second Look"; "Music, Love & Flowers: The Monterey International Pop Festival"; Stone Free [live]' Like a Rolling Stone [Live]. CD: Introduction by Brian Jones; Killing Floor; Foxy Lady; Like A Rolling Stone; Rock Me Baby; Hey Joe; Can You See Me; The Wind Cries Mary ; Purple Haze; Wild Thing.

DVD Production Notes: Produced by Janie Hendrix and John McDermott for Experience Hendrix. Original Monterey Pop Festival and live recordings produced by John Phillips and Lou Adler. Original Monerey Pop film footage directed by D.A. Pennebaker; Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Live, NTSC Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Number of discs: 1 Approximate running time: 116 minutes Bonus features: , "American Landing" documentary; "A Second Look," multiple camera angles; "Music, Love & Flowers: The Monterey International Pop Festival", a behind the scenes glimpse of the festival's origins; Special Bonus: earliest known film and sound recordings of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in concert from February 25, 1967 in Chelmsford, England.

Personnel: Jimi Hendrix: guitar, vocals; Mitch Mitchell: drums; Noel redding: bass, vocals.

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