Fireworks

Gary Moore - 'Blues For Jimi' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 07, 2015    
 
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This particular souvenir, recorded and filmed at the London Hippodrome on 25th October 2007, logs a unique evening.

The late lamented Gary Moore had trodden quite a few musical paths in his career. From the Progressive Jazz fusion touch of Colosseum II to Hard Rocking with Thin Lizzy, while his solo years showcased his Melodic Rock sensibilities, yet took a turn towards the Blues in his later years. Having experimented with many styles, the return to his Blues roots at the turn of the century also saw him touch on the power trio aspect with Ginger Baker and the late Jack Bruce in BBM as well as collaborating with the likes of Blues legend BB King. There can be no doubting his pedigree.

This particular souvenir, recorded and filmed at the London Hippodrome on 25th October 2007, entitled 'Blues For Jimi' logs a unique evening. The gig formed part of the launch for the Jimi Hendrix 'Live At Monterey' programme featuring Moore and his band (Dave Bronze on bass and Darrin Mooney on drums) performing classic Hendrix tracks. Moore is/was perhaps one of few guitarists who could do justice to the Hendrix style and legacy. Yes, there will be many who can play the notes, but few who could play with the feel of Moore.

Introduced as "an inspirational guitarist in his own right," and launching into a distorted 'Purple Haze', with all three instruments blazing a fury of sound like it was 1968, gives a very authentic feel from the off. The moment when 'Manic Depression' kicks into 'Foxy Lady' is classic. The frenzied solo towards the end of 'I Don't Live Today' is glorious and just watch out on the film footage for Moore going through the full range of his facial grimacing as he delivers what might be "the" solo of the set.

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Naturally the Strats are out in force although the Flying V comes out for 'Angel' and of course the Hendrix highlights – what you might call "the hits" – are there and while 'Foxy...' may conjure up images of Garth Algar from 'Wayne's World' for some, there's a "move over rover" call during 'Fire' which raises a smile as well, showing that for all the intensity of the music, there are moments of relaxation and inspiration as well.

Forty minutes in we get the treat of Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience to add their weight to proceedings. Having only had the chance to rehearse the night before, the element of winging it and improvising seems strangely apt and as Cox says "we're having fun and when I stop having fun on stage I'm retiring!" They indulge in the lengthy workouts on 'Red House' (with Cox sharing vocals) and 'Hey Joe' whilst the encore sees a ten minute blast through 'Voodoo Child' complete with the almost inevitable teeth plucking moment right at the very end – Moore gets a few plucks/bites in before grimacing through the final few notes and one last step on the wah wah pedal.

The bonus of a DVD capturing the event on film allows that extra glimpse into the visual aspect and in particular that quality and passion which Moore wrings out of his instrument – the touch, texture and clarity of the sound of each note. What's also apparent is his clear love of the material, having seen Hendrix as a fifteen year old in Belfast in 1967 and allowing him to celebrate not only Hendrix but deliver what turns out to be a fitting tribute to Gary Moore and Mitchell too.

Mike Ainscoe

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