November 26, 2009 – 12:47 pm

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Gypsy Sun & Rainbows: New York City [ATM 246-248, 3CDs]

The GSR Studio Sessions.

Jimi Hendrix’s Gypsy Sun And Rainbows (sometimes shortened to Rainbows; also known as A Band of Gypsys) was active for just one month and played four live gigs, the most prominent being their debut at Woodstock.

These recordings, compiled and recently put out by the ATM (Archived Traders’ Material) team, date from late August to mid-September 1969, a period of a little over two weeks. The recordings all likely took place at the Hit Factory except for the last track (from the Record Plant). Shortly afterwards conga player Jerry Velez and rhythm guitarist Larry Lee left the group, and the ensemble that played at Woodstock was only a memory. [The other members were Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, bassist Billy Cox and percussionist Juma Sultan.]

As idiooti, who shared the lossless tracks on the internet, commented: “There’s nothing unexpected in this collection; all of the tracks are readily available on scores of discs. The versions included here are the best quality copies circulating, and they’ve been checked and corrected for technical issues including pitch, phase offset, and digital errors.”

Together with the Shokan tapes and the complete Woodstock live concert, these complete the coverage of the brief existence of the GSR.

Thanks to idiooti and the ATM team for all their efforts.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1 (46:32) [Notes by the ATM team]
Track 101. Freedom (29) Jam (8:00) (11.1MB)
The recording date is unknown.
Track 102. Message to Love (3) (2:35) (3.6MB)
Possibly from the 29th rather than the 28th.
Track 103. Message to Love (50) (6:18) (8.7MB)
Track 104. Easy Blues (1) (complete) (10:12) (14.1MB)
The most complete version of this recording, with an extra second at the start and without edits.
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Track 105. Easy Blues (3) (edited) (7:41) (10.6MB)
Track 106. Easy Blues (2) (more edited mix) (4:35) (6.3MB)
Taken from collectors’ tapes with a few extra seconds at the end. The mix differs from the other two, with instruments placed somewhat differently in the stereo image and some of Larry’s guitar mixed low. This version is more heavily edited, with a 3:16 portion removed at 1:17 (Larry’s solo again). There are five further short edits, removing either one or two measures each: at 2:59 (7 seconds removed), at 3:13 (7 seconds removed), at 3:32 (4 seconds removed), at 3:41 (4 seconds removed), and at 4:00 (7 seconds removed). This version also fades 1:50 early at the end.
Track 107. Jam Back at the House (13) (2:23) (3.3MB)
A nearly mono mix of the first part of the unaltered track. It ends before providing us with all the parts in the other edits.
Track 108. Jam Back at the House (15) (4:19) (5.9MB)
Digital mono, a rough edit of the track with portions missing, but without later overdubs. It has a nine-second cut at 1:01 and a longer cut (at least 44 seconds) at 1:29, and is cut at the end. Without a complete unaltered version we don’t know what other edits might be present later in the track.

Disc 2 (78:50)
Track 201. Izabella (1) (0:19), Izabella (2) (1:07) (5.2MB)
Izabella (1-6): This instrumental session times to 17:42 and runs straight into Machine Gun (1). This is nearly identical to the version on “Soulful Sessions”, except that some remaining minor errors have been repaired: one short repeated section between takes has been removed, and a couple of short gaps between takes have been patched from another source.
Track 202. Izabella (3) (4:44) (10.6MB)
There is a sudden cut at 1:51, at which point the recording jumps back to the 0:39 point and repeats. It’s difficult to tell exactly what’s going on here; much of the guitar in the right channel is different the second time around, parts of the guitar overdub appear to have been moved around, and there is likely some further editing in this section as well. I’ve never seen anything like this, but it’s definitely altered from its originally recorded form.
Track 203. Izabella (4) (0:40), Izabella (5) (1:07) (3.3MB)
Track 204. Izabella (6) (3:40) (5.2MB)
Track 205. Machine Gun (1) (12:18) (17.9MB - visit the html page to download the track)
(1) and (2) are distinct takes, with notably sparse vocals. Interestingly John McDermott only mentions one take in his book. Both of these takes seem to be basic tracks presented with minimal overdubs.
Track 206. Machine Gun (2) (alternate take) (12:39) (17.9MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 207. Izabella (25) (mono mix) (3:40) (5.1MB)
Track 208. Izabella (28) (stereo mix) (3:39) (5.0MB)
A mono mix of the take from this date that was for some time the working master. (25) is the stereo mix of the same take, but without the congas track.
Track 209. Machine Gun (3) (8:11) (11.3MB)
Things get more interesting with Machine Gun composites (3) and (38), which feature two vocal tracks and guitar overdubs. There are parts from both (1) and (2) in these composites, but there are also overdubs which are not present on (1) and (2). It may be that (3) and (38) include various overdubs that were recorded for (1) and (2); it may also be that another take exists, and parts from that were used for the composites.
Track 210. Machine Gun (38) (11:19) (15.9MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Whatever the case, (3) is an incomplete narrow stereo mix and (38) a wider complete mix. They are the same edit, the only difference being that (3) fades early. There may be some different overdubs between the two; I haven’t checked every second. But generally the overdubs are similar, although the mixes place the parts in different places in the stereo image. Some of Larry’s guitar on (38) is mixed way down and can only be heard very faintly.
Track 211. Machine Gun (39) (7:28) (10.3MB)
A shortened mono composite, this time with only one vocal track and (in most places) only a single lead guitar track. On this one also, most of Larry’s guitar parts can only be heard very faintly. This version is interesting because it’s the basic track for the official overdubbed 1975 version. It’s exactly the same edit, but prior to posthumous overdubs. That official version (Machine Gun (4)) is not included here since there’s nothing unique on it.
Track 212. Machine Gun (40) (1:19) (1.8MB)
Also mono, is a short middle section from the same composite, but with some different guitar overdubs.

Disc 3 (70:31)
Track 301. Jungle Jam/Jam Back at the House (3) (5:58) (8.4MB)
Not firmly dated; there is no definitive description of this recording in McDermott’s book, but 04 September is a possible date.
Track 302. Valleys of Neptune (22) (instrumental) (3:54) (5.4MB)
Track 303. Blues for Me and You (2) (10:29) (14.6MB)
The three longer mixes of “Blues for Me and You” are all unedited, but differ in the amount missing at the start. (2) has some unknown amount cut at the start (we have no recording of this missing part); (1) starts 0:29 later than (2), and (3) starts 1:35 later than (2). Instrumental placement is different in these three mixes, and echo is added to the vocals on (2). (3) goes to nearly mono about 5 minutes in, and stays mono through the take of Lover Man (4). An alternate stereo mix of Lover Man (45) follows (1), but is cut at the end. Most of the audio between Blues (3) and LM (4) is edited out, but is present between Blues (1) and LM (45).
Track 304. Blues for Me and You (1) (10:00) (14.8MB)
Track 305. Lover Man (45) (instrumental, stereo) (3:42) (5.1MB)
Track 306. Blues for Me and You (3) (8:55) (12.5MB)
Track 307. Lover Man (4) (instrumental, mono) (4:18) (6.0MB)
Track 308. Blues for Me and You (4) (5:43) (7.9MB)
Edited, with the 0:40 end vocal section repeated at the start, followed by the last 5:03 of the track with the vocals again at the end. Congas are also mixed out on this version. This is probably a try by Alan Douglas at an official release for this track, which never materialized. I’ve only found the last part of this version on the bootleg LP “Mannish Boy”, which was used for the end section even though the quality is inferior.
Track 309. Stepping Stone (1) (15:22) (22.5MB - visit the html page to download the track)
The only recording not from the Hit Factory, and is from the last session of the original GSR line-up. Several more sessions featured Juma, but it appears that Larry and Jerry left following this session at the Record Plant.

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  1. 12 Responses to “JIMI HENDRIX - NEW YORK CITY 1969”

  2. Thanks. Great to hear these Hendrix and GSR recordings!

    By Jonathan on Nov 26, 2009

  3. Wonderful post..the transcendent genius of jimi is really evident..the only detraction to the beauty of this post is the the mention of his JUDAS-alan douglas,a prime conspiritor in jimi’s Murder

    By CRABBSTAR on Nov 27, 2009

  4. thanks..so much !!

    By sluggo on Nov 27, 2009

  5. Great gems!
    Superb relics!
    Thanks bigo’s team

    By Rochacrimson on Nov 27, 2009

  6. Great recordings, many thanks.

    The only detraction to the beauty of your post, and these comments, is the idiotic conspiracy bollocks raised by Crappstar.

    If people are going to make//repeat libellous bullshit, they should have the courage to do so under their own names - not taint BigO’s brilliant service by piggybacking on it to air their meretricious tosspot obsessions.

    By tk on Nov 28, 2009

  7. Awesome stuff as usual from BigO. Thank you. Has the Hendrix/Stills or McLaughlin stuff ever found the light of day? I can’t help think every time I hear Jimi, where he would have been today had he lived. Dumb thought, huh?

    By lanzarishi on Nov 30, 2009

  8. Looking forward to hearing this one.

    By Matt on Nov 30, 2009

  9. Brilliant!!

    By Diane on Dec 12, 2009

  10. Billy Cox, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Lee, Mitch Mitchell, Juma Sultan, Jerry Velez
    Short lived band formed by Hendrix after the break-up of Jimi Hendrix Experience, The. It was formed shortly before Woodstock and didn’t last long after. Though introduced as “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” by MC Chip Monck, Hendrix quickly correcte this to “Gypsy Sun And Rainbows” and began his two-hour set.

    By Flora P. Rose on Jan 13, 2010

  11. Anybody who thinks Alan Douglas had anything to do with Hendrix’s death is either terminally ignorant, or stoned to the point of retardation.

    By RANDY on Jan 21, 2010

  12. I feel like the Alan Douglas comment was meant to mean musical-murder. The dude butchered his tracks.

    Awesome post, these tracks are gold.

    By Jeff on Aug 24, 2010

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