Album Mini-review: Jimi Hendrix — Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival

File Next to: Cream, Buddy Guy

By the time of this historic July 4, 1970 concert – in front of his largest-ever American audience – Hendrix had broken up the Experience, briefly formed Band of Gypsys, and re-formed a new Experience. Joined by bassist Billy Cox and returning drummer Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix focused on his “older” (1967-68) material, previewing three numbers from his then-current recording project. The manic “Room Full of Mirrors” provided a clue to what would have been Hendrix’s new direction. Musically, the trio with Cox doesn’t sound all that different from the Noel Redding-era Experience. The band is very together, and the live arrangements stick closely to the studio versions; only on the slow blues of “Red House” does Hendrix stretch out, doubling the song’s length. Though most of the performance was released on the 1991 box set Stages, this long-bootlegged recording finally gets official and complete release.

An edited version of this review appeared previously in the Colorado Springs Independent.

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