Personnel: Jimi Hendrix (vocals, guitar); Buddy Miles (vocals, drums); Billy Cox, Noel Redding (bass); Mitch Mitchell (drums).
Liner Note Author: John McDermott .
Recording information: Baggy's Studios, New York, NY (05/02/1968); Record Plant, New York, NY (05/02/1968); Baggy's Studios, New York, NY (12/19/1969); Record Plant, New York, NY (12/19/1969).
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year is a wonderful little two-song single to see out the millennium. Experience Hendrix was able to unearth these one-off studio jams and present them in their full glory. The first cut captures Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsies during rehearsal for the famous New Year's Eve 1969 Fillmore concerts that would eventually become Band of Gypsies. A loose medley of "Little Drummer Boy"/"Silent Night"/"Auld Lang Syne," this track clearly illustrates the heavy chemistry between Hendrix and his co-conspirators Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. The second cut, "Three Little Bears," is another one-off jam, this time with the original Jimi Hendrix Experience (Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell), during sessions for Electric Ladyland. It's more on the psychedelic R&B side of things, but nevertheless remains another charming curio from a man who was easily one of the most revolutionary musicians of the century. ~ Matthew Greenwald