on 31 December 2005
Three concerts here, the legendary (I presume) Newport Jazz Festival 1960, Copenhagen 1968 and Molde, Norway 1977.
Newport features Otis Spann, Pat Hare, James Cotton, Andrew Stephenson and Francis Clay in glorious black and white and reduced sound quality - but they swing. So much so they are joined by a bunch of others including a brief but memorable vocal by Betty Jeanette along with Jimmy Rushing and a bunch of others. The thing here is they are having fun, big fun, with Muddy a little younger and letting his hair down on stage. The set is far too brief though.
Copenhagen is in colour with slightly better but still disappointing sound, with Spann, Pee Wee Madisson, S P Leary, Luther "Snake" Johnson and Sonny Wimberley. Eight tracks in all.
Molde is in colour and the sound is great, all instruments coming through clear, which is a bit of a shame cos Muddyâ€™s playing is a bit rough at times, although nothing else is. The band is similar to the one he worked with Johnny Winter in his later career, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Luther "Guitar" Johnson, Willie Smith, Jerry Portnoy and Calvin Jones. Eight fine tracks here with the band enjoying themselves and sounding just great with Muddy in perfect voice.
A good selection of what youâ€™d want to see with enough for archivists, fans and newcomers. While the sound quality disappoints at times, which is understandable given the times (but I just keep imagining what it would sound like now if they had the technology back then), this still rates five big stars. Itâ€™s Muddy Waters and some of the greatest blues players that have ever lived - what other rating could you give it ?
on 4 July 2013
Archive film from this long ago is always going to pose a problem. Compared to modern techniques the style is basic and unvaried. There are some different viewing angles, but otherwise it's Muddy and friends playing the blues.
And that of course is the purpose of the film. The man oozes charisma from every pore and his timing both vocally and with his guitar are immaculate and apparently effortless. Blues enshrines a beautiful irony or paradox. The singer is one moment beaten, downtrodden, exploited, hopeless, desperate, disillusioned and depressed; and the next moment a supreme human specimen ultimately attractive to the opposite gender, powerful, dominant, enduring no opposition. Muddy flips from one to the other with charm and confidence. The film reveals this unbelievable quality of his to be innocent and knowing at the same time. A master of his art.
on 11 March 2011
I bought this DVD for my husband as he is a big Muddy Waters fan. It features Muddy appearing at three different jazz festivals. Unfortunately three songs, "Tiger in your Tank", "Got My Mojo Workin'" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" are performed at each of the venues. With the body of work that Muddy had to choose from this wasn't necessary. It spoiled the DvD for us.