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Jimi Hendrix - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

(Kevin Wierzbicki) As the ad campaign for this release cleverly puts it---put some purple haze into your eggnog with this remastered holiday-themed E.P. from Jimi Hendrix! There are only three cuts here but they capture Hendrix in a playful mood. At one point during "Three Little Bears" it seems like Jimi is about to burst out laughing but he manages to maintain his composure both vocally and with his guitar work where he refrains from getting overly showy. The song was recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell) during the 1968 sessions for Electric Ladyland. Also included are two versions (different lengths) of an instrumental medley of "Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne" recorded with the Band of Gypsies in 1969 with Buddy Miles playing the drummer-boy rat-a-tat throughout as Hendrix plays each song's melody, again staying fairly true to the original arrangements and not getting into pyrotechnics. Instantly recognizable as Hendrix, these cuts have not been available for a very long time and even though the music is "seasonal" the vibe is all Jimi and suitable for play anytime. A cool bonus on the CD booklet is a photo of Jimi dressed up as a funky Santa Claus.

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