Copenhagen Jazz Festival – 1968

Muddy Waters

 

An exciting set by one of the great blues legends

Muddy Waters (1913-83) was one of the giants of electric Chicago blues; in fact he is considered one of its founders.

Waters’ band in the 1950s (with Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann and sometimes Willie Dixon) set the standard for virtually all of the blues groups that have followed.

On Oct. 27, 1968 his set at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival was fortunately filmed for it captures Waters at the peak of his powers.

The Muddy Waters group with guitarists Luther “Snakeboy” Johnson and Pee Wee Madison, pianist Otis Spann, Paul Oscher on harmonica, bassist Sonny Wimberley, and drummer S.P. Leary warm up on the instrumental “Back At The Chicken Shack” and then inspire Waters on “Train Fare Home Blues,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” ”Long Distance Call,” “Nobody Knows My Trouble,” “Cold Cold Feeling,” the always-spirited “Got My Mojo Working,” and “Tiger In Your Tank.”

Viewers wondering about the power of Muddy Waters’ music and why he was so influential are advised to watch this film and realize that he was performing comparable sets back in the mid-1950s.

-Scott Yanow

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