"Miami Special" consists of two performances. The title comes from the "Underground Pop Festival" at Gulfstream Park Raceway in Hallendale, FL near Miami. This festival took place May 18 and 19, and was attended by about 25,000 lucky souls. Each band played two shows each day, this Hendrix performance is his second show. Other bands which performed are Mothers of Invention, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Blue Cheer and John Lee Hooker! Hendrix, Zappa, and John Lee Hooker!! Whoa.
According to the book "Eye Witness" these 5 tracks represent Hendrix's complete show. The performances are excellent. As the show begins, the first thing I noticed is the clarity of this recording. The on stage comments are extremely clear, Hendrix proclaims "We care for your ears, that's why we don't play so loud" Then right into "Foxy Lady". The sound is exceptionally clear, obviously from the soundboard, but there is some fluxuation in the volume and the music shifts strangely from left to right channels. It is an effect that is hard to describe. But the good news is that the enjoyment, for me, is not effected by this. The performance shines through, and the clarity of the recording allows us to hear every lick! "Foxy Lady" and "Fire" both are high energy performances which really rock out. Next is the always wonderful "Hear my Train a Coming", the sound quality really lets us hear the beautiful solos. Finally an excellent version of "Purple Haze". Great energy throughout the show, excellent performances, and excellent sound.
The only other release of this show that I could uncover is "Black Elvis plays America" on Dandelion. I do not have this title to compare, but I expect it is just as good. This may be a newly circulated show? Any info about this would be helpful.
Now we go back a week to May 10, New York, Fillmore East. This has circulated for years and had several releases. I used "One Night Stand" on Hep Cat for comparing. I believe the sound on this CD to be better, primarily for the depth of the low end. The Hep Cat release lacks bass. Rattlesnake has done an excellent job with this sound.
The Fillmore performance is one of Jimi's best! Excellent versions of rockers like "Foxy Lady" and Loverman". Even better are the slow blues. One of the best versions of "Red House" clocking at over 15 minutes. A great "Hey Joe with a meltdown opening, then a 30 second "Sunshine of Your Love" tease before another excellent version of "Hear my Train a Coming". Then we get a cool Bob Dylan cover and "Purple Haze" to close the set. A legendary performance, which has always been one of my favorite Hendrix shows, featuring the original Experience. Thanks to Rattlesnake for polishing the sound nicely on this classic.
The packaging is nice, nothing spectacular. A single page booklet with often seen, but period accurate photos.
This set is essential, a soundboard of a rare festival performance, and an upgrade of a classic!
Seek it out my brothers!