I prefer the studio version with a concise Jerry Garcia playing guitar. This live version is great but I often tire of Garcia’s noodling solos.
Saunders truly is an underrated musical figure. He didn’t contribute all that much to popular music but he’s somewhat of a forgotten man from the early ’70’s rock and soul heydey. His style cannot be pigeonholed either–the man is as accomplished in the jazz field as he is in rock/soul. Overall, I’d rather listen to Merl’s Hot Fire over any Buddy Miles album or every Billy Preston albums save for the Live European Tour album.