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Overcoming the lagging spirits of the previous night, Alan Douglas and Stefan Bright brought Tony Bongiovi back into the control room as engineer to help spur on Hendrix’s musical style. As intended, Hendrix lead the group through a high-spirited session of recordings including nineteen takes of “Izabella” of which takes 1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 16, and 19 were tagged ‘complete.’ After a quick change of tape reels, one final take the 20th of “Izabella” was put to tape and flagged as the basic track. With the success of “Izabella” filling the studio air, the group turned to “Burning Desire” although none of the 24 takes featured the emotional intensity of the later. The marathon session continued with additional recordings of “Machine Gun” the fourth and final take was marked complete. Afterwards Hendrix guided the session through 24 takes (without vocals) of “Power Of Soul” which he then described as “Paper Airplanes.”
Having just successfully completed two sold out performances at the Fillmore East, the previous night, the Band of Gypsys New Year’s Day performances were solidifying them as one of the most recognizable sounds in modern music. Just as with the two shows the preceding night Wally Heider and Eddie Kramer also recorded this performance. The results of which have been released as Band Of Gypsys (Experience Hendrix/Capitol Records, 93446-2) and Hendrix: Live At The Fillmore East (Experience Hendrix/MCA, MCAD2-1111931).
As the Band Of Gypsys hit the stage the crowd explodes into applause as the three neighborly musicians break into a barrage of musical attacks, bouncing melodic beats of musical affection off each other. The mesmerizing opening statements of the newly formed Band of Gypsys implanted a new brand of funky rock-inspired blues in the audience’s head.
“His playing is so loud, so fluid and so rife with electronic distortions that it resembles that of no other currently popular performer,” reported Mike Jahn for The New York Times (January 2, 1970). Lead guitarist Jimi Hendrix was once again joined on stage by bassist, Billy Cox and drummer, Buddy Miles for their new collaboration of roaming and experimental sounds.
The Band Of Gypsys first set featured performances of “Who Knows,” “Machine Gun,” “Changes,” “Power Of Soul,” “Stepping Stone,” “Foxey Lady,” “Stop,” “Hear My Train A Comin’,” “Earth Blues,” and “Burning Desire.”
As Rolling Stones’ Loraine Alterman reported, “at the first show on New Year’s Day, the audience really let loose with cheers only on the old “Foxey Lady.” In all fairness, however, his second show reportedly went over much better especially when he and Miles sand a pleas for unity about how we’ve all got to live together, a song did together in a jam at the Newport ’69 festival in Los Angeles.
“In the end, though, Hendrix is a musician, not a contortionist or juggler. If the fans can forget the visual show and if Hendrix can come up with a new approach to material for a Band Of Gypsys, he’ll remain a heavy on the scene.”
After a brief intermission the Band Of Gypsys returned for a second set highlighted with “Stone Free,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Power Of Soul,” “Changes,” “Message To Love,” “Earth Blues,” “Machine Gun,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “We Gotta Live Together,” “Wild Thing,” “Hey Joe,” and “Purple Haze.”
Alfred Aronowitz of The New York Post interviews Hendrix for a piece in the January 2, 1970 edition. Inside Aronowitz explains Hendrix’s musical change saying, “Jimi had chosen the New Year, and as he put it, the new decade to unveil his new trio… What’s the reason for the change? ‘Earth, man, earth,’ Jimi said. With his old group, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the music has been too far out in space. ‘Now I want to bring it down to earth,’ Jimi said. ‘I want to get back to the blues, because that’s what I am.’ The new group has a new repertoire, but during his first set last night, Jimi was still waving his freak flag.
“There had been plans for Jimi to go back on tour with The Experience accompanied once again by Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on bass, but after the show Jimi had changed his mind. ‘With Mitch, maybe, but not with Noel, for sure.’ He said. ‘That’s another thing. This is more of a real thing. We’re trying to get it on its feet. We’re waiting for Stevie Winwood. If I can get ahold of him and he agrees to it, that’ll be another voice. We’ll have harmony for days.’ The name of Jimi’s new group, incidentally, is A Band Of Gypsys. ‘That’s what we are,’ said Buddy. ‘That’s what all musicians are, Gypsies.'”
1970 Alfred Aronowitz Band of Gypsys Changes Earth Blues eddie kramer Fillmore East hey joe jan January 1 Little Drummer Boy Live Machine Gun Message To Love new years day performance Power Of Soul Purple Haze Stone Free The New York Post Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Wally Heider We Gotta Live Together Wild Thing
In a session at the Record Plant, overseen by engineer Bob Hughes and second engineer Dave Ragno, Hendrix crafted a rough sketch of “Send My Love To Linda” which featured Miles on drums and Cox on bass. As the track progressed it extended into a lively extended jam. Additionally, twelve takes of “Paper Airplanes” (AKA “Power Of Soul”) and five takes of “Burning Desire” were also put to tape.
Another marathon session at the Record Plant took place on this night with fourteen takes of “Power Of Soul” (still referred under the working title of “Crash Landing”) put to tape, and although takes 2, 4, and 6 were complete, no master track was flagged. Hendrix the introduced six takes of “Astro Man” before closing the session with one uneventful take of “Valleys Of Neptune.”
In 1974, Alan Douglas pulled the fourth (and complete) take of “Power Of Soul” and included it on the dismal collection Crash Landing (Reprise Records, MS 2204) albeit remixed and overdubbed with percussion by Jimmy Maeulen and subsequently retitled as “With The Power.”
The January 21 issue of Variety magazine announces the upcoming Isle Of Wight Festival of Music – a five-day musical extravaganza slated for August 30 on the small island off the south coast of England. Of the event, Variety explains, “the first two days will be a film fest. It is hoped to premier a couple of films of the Easy Rider genre. The remainder will be a conventional progressive pop bash with about 30 acts taking part. Policy is to not book more than two big names as crowd pullers as they tend to overshadow other acts. No bookings have yet been made.”
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Hendrix completed overdubs onto his January 21 Record Plant recording of “Power Of Soul”. A new mix was also prepared.
Rough mixes of the January 21 cuts of “Power Of Soul” was prepared.
Juggy Sound, New York Studio Recording The mixing and editing of “Changes”, “Power Of Soul”, “Message To Love”, and “We Gotta Live Together” was the focus of this session by Hendrix and Kramer. One such edit was the removal of a short section of Hendrix’s guitar An early section of “Power Of Soul”, marred by a short burst of Hendrix’s out of tune guitar, was trimmed from the master.