A part of Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic Series of recordings (that includes albums by Ray Charles and Cannonball Adderley) this is a valuable new live recording of Muddy waters from a quarter-century past. He’s with his then working band of Pinetop Perkins/piano, Mojo Buford/harp, Calvin Jones/bass, Willie Smith/drums and Louis Myers on guitar, filling in for then ailing Sammy Lawhorn, and relegating himself to a mostly supporting role.
This is a “what you see is what you get” sort of recording. Muddy sounds in good form, singing robustly and plays a fair amount of slide guitar , Pinetop Perkins shows what a fine backing pianist he is, and even Mojo Buford, not my favorite of Waters’ harp players, acquits himself well on his steady, if unspectacular accompaniments. The material should be fairly familiar, with Clouds in My Heart, Hootchie Cootchie Man, Blow Wind Blow, Honey Bee, Walkin’ Blues and Got My Mojo Workin’.
Produced in cooperation with Waters’ estate, this is a lively, highly entertaining addition to Waters’ discography.
I likely received a review copy from Fantasy Records who owned the Pablo catalog. This review appeared originally in the July-August 1997 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 223). Here is Muddy in 1976 performing "Rollin' and Tumblin'."