Contrary to popular belief, Hendrix was not in any kind of artistic decline during the last year of his life. In fact, it was quite the opposite. This apocalyptic performance of “Machine Gun,” featuring Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, demonstrates that Jimi was still growing in leaps and bounds near the end. But while Band of Gypsys captures some of the guitarist’s greatest improvisations to date, he was still dissatisfied with its outcome.
“I distinctly remember that Jimi wasn’t particularly thrilled with Band of Gypsys,” says engineer Eddie Kramer who recorded the album and co-mixed and edited it with Hendrix. “He felt that Buddy Miles was trying to steal his thunder throughout the performance with his excessive scat singing. I can still see Jimi with his head buried in his arms, laying on the mixing console during playback saying, ‘Buddy, would you please just shut up!’ So, I would chop out huge passages of Buddy singing. And then I’d chop some more.”