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Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (1999)

Video  -  Music | Documentary  -  6 July 1999 (USA)
7.4
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Title: Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Video 1999)

Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Video 1999) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself (Guitar, Vocals) (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Cox ...
Himself (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Eddie Kramer ...
Himself
...
Himself
Buddy Miles ...
Himself
John Mitchell ...
Himself (as Mitch Mitchell)
Noel Redding ...
Himself
Vernon Reid ...
Himself
...
Himself
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Genres:

Music | Documentary

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6 July 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Freedom
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell
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User Reviews

 
the two titles listed on IMDb should likely be just one...
25 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A video/DVD like Hendrix: Band of Gypsies, which is indispensable if you're the Jimi Hendrix fan (even if you're just a casual admirer it is worth a look), should be more available online (it is in stores still), and should be just one page on this site. If there are two separate versions of this, I would be glad to check out both, but to the extent of my knowledge I think there is only one version of the Hendrix: Band of Gypsies documentary. This version, at 130 minutes long (when it appears on cable every now and again it is cut shamefully in half its running length), gives the viewer an in-depth look at one of the most fascinating aspects of Hendirx's career as a musician. Along with the interviews, it also gives the only glimpses of Hendrix playing with the trio that made up the Band of Gypsies, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox (drums and bass respectively).

There is first some ample history from different angles: we get the background on the rise and slow dissension of the Experience, how after two years of constant, non-stop touring, Noel Redding left, and Mitch Mitchell (one of the great drummers of his day, by the way) who hung on until late 1969. There are the interviews from the management, the engineers, those who knew Jimi either personally or through business affairs. Miles and Cox themselves give fond, memorable recollections of their times with him (Cox himself was with Hendrix on the Chitlin circuit in the early 60's). And the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Slash give their claims of total influence from the master of the stratacaster. But this all, of course, revolves around the Band of Gypsies, a group who brought songs that to this day don't get as much radio play as Purple Haze or Voodoo Child, but are just as (if not more) powerful than the hits.

That there are near complete performances shown from the Gypsies shows at the Filmore East at the turn of the decade is suffice enough to get the tape. There are two songs in-particular, Who Knows and Machine Gun, which I consider to be highlights of Hendrix's whole career, let alone with this collaboration. It was a chance for him to expand on his reach into the black community (as the documentary shows in very good detail), and it seemed to impress everyone. His style of progressive music, with down and dirty blues, soul, jazz, rock, and a kind of experimental science-fiction music all fusing together, worked well for the Gypsies, and at the core the video gives its money's worth in a not very well known story of classic rock. Also worth to recommend is the 2-disc CD version of the Band of Gypsies live at the Filmore.


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