Just two days before his tragic death, Jimi Hendrix took the stage at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London on 16 September, 1970. He would guest on two songs with Eric Burdon’s War and audience member Bill Baker was able to record the performance on reel-to-reel tape.
Now the newly restored audio of Hendrix jamming with War on a rendition of Memphis Slim song Mother Earth has surfaced ahead of the theatre and streaming release of new film, Ronnie's.
“It’s unmistakably Jimi from the moment he takes the stage,” Ronnie's director Oliver Murray told Rolling Stone. “His touch and tone is unique to this day even after the hordes of players who have tried to replicate it. It’s so lyrical and fits right in with the colourful, jazz-tinged jam that Eric Burdon and War are laying on for the audience.”
“The next night, we got word that after the set, Jimi had died," War guitarist Howard Scott remembers in the clip. "It was a terrible thought right there that I was the last guitarist to play with him.”
Hendrix also played on the John D. Loudermilk song Tobacco Road with the band that night and an unrestored recording of that can be heard above, along with the full unrestored version of Mother Earth below (Jimi takes the solo at 1:01.40).
Ronnie’s is a chronicle of the life of saxophonist and legendary jazz club owner Ronnie Scott and can be seen in select theaters and via digital channels on 11 February.