Gary Moore Plays Jimi Hendrix Live
If you are tired of superstar guitar players emulating Jimi Hendrix give it one more chance. Gary Moore is a rock guitar legend. The real thing. An early friend of Peter Green his playing spanned many years of solo LP's along with a stint with Thin Lizzy and various Phil Lynott projects. He was also featured guitarist with Colleseum II and on several Cozy Powell solo LP’s.
His career took a right turn onto the path of the blues player when he ran headfirst into Albert King and Albert Collins. He was always on a path that was hard to pin down and traversed so much so fast. A master of the entire genre and one of England’s best guitar players and vocalists he gets to show what he wants here in his own way.
This LP Gary Moore “Blues for Jimi” (Eagle Rock AEAG 202941) which was also filmed is well worth listening. I thought that the CD sounded especially good and recently the 2 LP set was passed onto me as a gift so I decided to compare and review it. This set is cut hot on four LP’s and has two to four cuts per side. Apparently mastered on lacquer by Miles which is inscribed in the lead-out groove. It is a first class mastering all the way.
Recorded at the London Hippodrome on October 25th 2007. The band features Darrin Mooney of Scars on drums. Dave Bronze of Robin Trower and Eric Clapton and many others on bass. Side One opens with “Purple Haze” and the sound is live and full. I knew the CD had a great rock sound but the LP creams it with better bass all around and better bass focus. The sound spread is tight almost a center stage perspective with the listener tightly centered.
“Manic Depression” – takes off and Moore gets in a solo that is almost Jimi like. He and the band really put some sock into this one. “Foxey Lady” intros fuzzy and wild which builds into a rollicking over the top version at the end which Gary goes and gets the fox --- with an ending reminiscent of a live version Hendrix did (location unknown the performance escapes me for now) so it’s really cool to hear it this way.
“The Wind Cries Mary” calms things down as the band settles in. One of the best Hendrix songs. Moore and friends pull it off and give it enough personality to move the listener and you hear the appreciative response of the crowd at the end.
“I Don’t Live Today” where Moore breaks a string and solos on anyway with the whammy bar, improvising feedback and fuzz and swaps the said guitar for another midpoint without stopping the song at the solo break nonetheless. Comes back in and takes a long fast solo and takes the song to a new level to everyone’s enjoyment.
“Angel” a song that Jimi never played live. Intros with Gary soloing in an Indian sort of motif, very fast in a Moore/Hendrix combined style that is stunning. Played on a Gibson Flying V no less and blessed with a BOSS Rotary Ensemble that sounds almost more UniVibe than a UniVibe, the echo modulation perhaps causing the added to effect perhaps? If you don’t like this cut you better get off the ride now.
---Back to the Stratocaster for “Fire” played very fast as Gary takes over and calls out the fire alarm on the guitar during the ending of the cut. London is burning down pull the alarm.
On Side 3 the special guests enter and what special guests. They are Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass who welcome all to the Hendrix legacy and welcome Moore to play on. “Red House” now sounds much different drum and bass wise with the new players on board. Billy Cox sings lead and well too with Gary joining in vocally. Moore with his amps set on high scorch puts in a long searing and soulful lead solo. Cox comes back in singing toyfully bringing “Red House” down at the close. This is the real thing ...this is the shit Cox says. And you better believe it too.
“Stone Free” a favorite also sung by Billy Cox with Mitch doing some interesting drumming that swings into new territory for him. It really works as it pushes and shoves the song forward without stifling it in a showy way. Gary’s solo is iridescent and glows. Again with the amps set to scorch mode this ends the side with the appreciation of we love you.
Side 4 opens with “Hey Joe” with Cox butting in wide with and extremely funky bass line and Mitchell playing mostly straight ahead rock with little of his typical swing. Moore drops in and solos and Mitchell returns slightly to his older form playing more accents and rolls. Is this how Mitchell and Cox would have been sounding if they had been playing with Jimi today? Well of course if they could have. Gary is just filling in for Jimi on this night. Sometimes when musician’s first play together it just locks in and this is one of them Mitchell announces as he leaves the stage.
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return) brings back Bronze on bass and Mooney on drums to the stage and bring the set to a close and what a close that it is. The Marshall amps now set for complete meltdown. Moore puts in some of his most singing and fastest solos fuzzed all the way to feedback it is like Jimi never left. So enjoy!
For those who are not aware that Gary Moore passed on over a year ago. It’s like he has never left. Who along with Mitch Mitchell who passed on even earlier still --- This is where the real party begins and how you get in. This LP which is also available on DVD and lets the legacy continue and live forever on.
Producer: Terry Shand and Geoff Kempin
Mastering Engineer: Miles