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Band of Gypsys Reincarnation: Electric Angelland

Everett R. Davis By

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Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music. So it's not surprising that the Band of Gypsys Reincarnation, founded by guitarist László Halper along with an all-star cast of musicians, electrified the stage at the Palace Of Arts Budapest and recorded this amazing compilation of Hendrix hits during a 70th birthday tribute to the legendary guitarist.

From start to finish, the band unleashes a jazz-infused horn and rhythm section that kicks out thrilling and often funky jazz rhythms accompanied by the smooth and often up-tempo double bass of Eddie Gomez. István Fekete comes on strong with touches of Miles Davis throughout with his smooth but defining trumpet solos, accompanied by Gábor Kollmann's quick and precise alto and tenor sax interventions, as they jump in and out—almost, at times, playing tag with electric guitarist Halper. "Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland" is masterfully done, featuring wonderful guitar and trumpet solos and, of course, drummer Steve Gadd holding it together with each crisp and clean lick.

The pace rapidly quickens on "Highway Chile," and "Can You See Me," which are up-tempo compilations of funky, crisp, and clean trumpet and guitar movements accompanied by Gomez, who holds it all together as his double bass runs back and forth. Closing out the set is the classic "Red House," one of the first songs recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This soulful and bluesy number brings it all together with silky smooth vocals that speak of love; it also features extended solos by Halper and Fekete, skillfully putting their instruments through their paces.

All but two of the tracks on this well put-together CD were written by Hendrix; "Beginnings" was written by Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, while "Blackbird" comes from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Halper explains that "Electric Angelland is a reference to Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland (Reprise, 1968) album and is also the place, 'Angelland,' where I grew up and, thirdly, to the sad fact the Hendrix is not playing his guitar any more in ladies' land, but in angels' land."

Track Listing: Freedom; Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland; Highway Chile; Burning of the Midnight Lamp; Can You See Me; Beginnings; Black Bird; I Don't Live Today; Bold As Love; Stone Free; Red House.

Personnel: László Halper: electric guitar; Steve Gadd: drums; Eddie Gomez: double bass; István Fekete: trumpet; Gábor Kollmann: alto saxophone; Akos Csejtey: tenor saxophone.

Title: Electric Angelland | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

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