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Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) Hear My Train A Comin’ 2) Villanova Junction 3) Earth Blues 4) Untitled Blues 5) Jam With Buddy Miles On Guitar 6) Earth Blues 7) Bleeding Heart Jimi returned to the Record Plant to record with Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, and an unnamed conga player. Over the course of this lengthy session, the group cut a superb rendition of the Elmore James blues standard “Bleeding Heart”. This recording was later edited and issued as part of Jimi Hendrix: Blues.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) Message From Nine To The Universe For the second consecutive evening, Jimi was joined by Cox, Miles, and an unnamed percussionist. Their focus was centered on “Message From Nine To The Universe” an early hybrid of “Earth Blues” and “Message To Love”. A heavily edited version of this take was later issued as part of the [now deleted] 1980 compilation Nine To The Universe.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Born Under A Bad Sign Lover Man Earth Blues Message To Love Changes Lover Man Burning Desire Back in New York, Hendrix returned to the Record Plant for an extended evening session. Jimi led Buddy Miles and Billy Cox through takes of “Lover Man,” “Izabella,” “Earth Blues,” “Message To Love,” “Changes,” and “Burning Desire”, although no masters were achieved. One recording from this session, an impromptu rendition of Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” was issued posthumously as part of the 1994 compilation Jimi Hendrix :Blues (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 11060).
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Message To Love Earth Blues For the second consecutive evening, Hendrix, Cox, and Miles spent time at both the Record Plant and Baggy’s Studios. It would appear that the group began the evening with an extended rehearsal session at Baggy’s Studios. Afterwards, Hendrix began a separate session with Cox and Miles at the Record Plant beginning at 3 a.m. Hendrix returned to “Message To Love”, achieving a satisfactory basic rhythm track with just a single take. Sixteen takes of “Earth Blues” followed, with the eleventh designated as ‘complete.’ Hendrix would add a host of overdubs to this working master, including guitar, lead vocal, backing vocals by the famed Ronettes, and even a new drum track by Mitch Mitchell before his death the following year. First issued as part of the since deleted Rainbow Bridge soundtrack, “Earth Blues” was reissued in 1997 as part of First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 11599). “Message To Love” has since been issued as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set issued in September 2000.
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
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Message To Love Stepping Stone Earth Blues Ezy Ryder A vibrant session which featured Hendrix revisiting the December 19, Record Plant recording of “Message To Love.” The group completed a series of overdubs for this track including the recording of a new lead guitar part by Hendrix. The group also revisited “Earth Blues” (Take 11) from the same December 19 session, completing a series of overdubs and a new lead guitar track. In revisiting take three of “I’m A Man” (January 7), Hendrix renamed the track “Sky Blues Today” while adding new guitar overdubs to the recording. Hendrix also revisited the December 18 recording of “Ezy Ryder.” Rough mixes for each of the session’s recordings were also completed. Hendrix would return to both songs at Electric Lady Studios later that summer.
Revisiting the December 19 recording of “Message To Love,” during an evening session back at the Record Plant, the group completed the final overdubs for this track while Hendrix added a new lead guitar part to the master. The group also revisited “Earth Blues” (Take 11) from the same December 19 session – adding a series of overdubs and a new lead guitar track.
In revisiting take three of “I’m A Man” (January 7), Hendrix retitled the track “Sky Blues Today” while adding new guitar overdubs to the recording. Hendrix also revisited the December 18 recording of “Ezy Ryder.” Rough mixes for each of the session’s recordings were also completed, which would later be revisited at Electric Lady Studios later that summer.
Hendrix returned to Electric Lady where he revisited a number of previously recorded compositions for overdubbing. Work on this night included visits to “Message To Love,” “Earth Blues,“ “Steeping Stone,” Valleys Of Neptune,” and a rough demo of “Heaven Has No Sorrow.”