Jimi Hendrix

Magic Fingers

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The main focus of this Jimi Hendrix bootleg, which the illicit Towne label put out in 1979, is a March 1968 show in Ottawa, Canada. Leading his Jimi Hendrix Experience, the seminal singer/guitarist has many inspired moments during his Ottawa set. Hendrix is in fine form on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" and Billy Roberts' "Hey Joe," as well as famous originals that include "Purple Haze," "Red House," "Spanish Castle Magic," and "Foxy Lady." The first three sides of this two-LP set are devoted to the Ottawa show; after that, Towne shifts gears on side four, which ranges from a performance of "I Don't Live Today" at L.A.'s Inglewood Forum in 1969 to an instrumental studio jam that is loosely based on Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour"; recorded in London in 1967, the jam employs a young Stevie Wonder on drums. The main problem with Magic Fingers is the sound quality. The recordings themselves are okay, but regrettably, Towne seemingly used inferior vinyl -- as a result, both LPs are plagued by constant crackling. The first time you put Magic Fingers on your turntable, you felt like you were listening to beaten-up records that had spent a decade lying in dust. And for that reason, Magic Fingers is a bootleg that only a completist would want to own.

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