Muddy Waters: The Montreux Years (2-LP, 180g Vinyl)
(BMG Rights) 16 tracks
The magnificent and incomparable Muddy Waters performed 3 legendary concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival throughout the 1970s. Each of these historic concerts were recorded. Muddy Waters name is synonymous with the authenticity, excellence and individuality of the festival and this collection is a celebration of his unique talent. The Montreux Years collection will bring together for the first time, some of the finest moments from Muddy Waters' celebrated performances alongside rare material, unheard since the original recording.
Expertly curated by the Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG, restored and remastered in superlative HD audio; The Montreux Years is released on superior audiophile heavy weight vinyl, MQA quality CD and in HD digital. Montreux Media Ventures (MMV) in partnership with BMG are working together to produce and release a premium series of albums and activities, curated from the unique Montreux Jazz festival archive; one of the finest music collections in the world. As part of this exciting new joint venture MMV and BMG have commenced work to establish a new series of deluxe artist collections under the new official Montreux Jazz records imprint.
These initial collections; The Montreux Years will bring together the most iconic performances from the most significant artists to perform in the festival's impressive five decade history. The collaboration is an unprecedented curation project. The most extensive exploration of the official archive in the festival's history. Expertly curated by the MJF and BMG teams and overseen by Claude Nobs' partner and president of the Claude Nobs foundation, Thierry Amsallem, who will act as executive producer across the series.
The Montreux Years series is a celebration of Claude's love of the artists and passion for the festival and are a fitting tribute to his legacy. The BMG and Montreux Jazz music festival design teams will work in partnership to produce new and authentic creative, faithful to the festival's reputation for iconic artwork.
Article properties: Muddy Waters: The Montreux Years (2-LP, 180g Vinyl)
Although Chess claimed that Muddy Waters was responsible for penning the rousing Got My Mojo Working on this single, it emanated from outside the confines of Arc Music, Chess’ publishing arm.
"We went on tour with a lady named Ann Cole. She's the one that originally did 'Mojo,’" says his then-road harpist, James Cotton. "Muddy said, 'That's my kind of stuff there, talkin' about the mojo and all that kind of thing. I need to learn that song so I can do it.' He said, 'Learn the words to it for me.' So I learned the words, and I learned to play it. I taught him the words when I knew everything. They recorded it, him and Walter. It did pretty good.
When Muddy got back to Chicago, he made the song his own on either December 1, 1956 or January 16, 1957. As Cotton noted, Little Walter was still his main harp man in the studio; other participants were his essential 88s ace Otis Spann, guitarist Jimmy Rogers, bassist Willie Dixon, and new drummer Francis Clay. But this rendition wouldn’t be the one everyone so widely copied; that version was done live at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival with James on harp (Chess issued Waters’ set on LP). "I put the arrangement on there," says Cotton. "Now it's a classic."
In between the two Mojos, Waters made his maiden voyage to England in 1958, bringing along his electric guitar. British fans accustomed to Big Bill Broonzy’s acoustic blues weren’t quite ready for the aural assault. "I went over there, and they went stone nuts. ‘Where’s he comin’ from with all this noise?’" said Muddy, who tried to comply on his next visit. "I go back a couple of years later and didn’t bring it, and then they’re cryin’, ‘Where’s your electric guitar?’"
Always loyal to Chess, the ‘60s weren’t overly kind to Muddy from a recording standpoint. The nadir was his pseudo-psychedelic 1968 travesty ‘Electric Mud.’ Muddy freely ripped the album later on. "I really went with the company with that part," he said. "I hope they never play it." During the mid-‘70s, Waters underwent a studio renaissance on a new label, Blue Sky. Producer Johnny Winter strove to restore Muddy’s original sound on his acclaimed 1977 LP ‘Hard Again.’ "He was one of the young white kids who was really deep into it," said Muddy.
The King of Chicago Blues died of cancer April 30, 1983 at age 70. It’s a sure bet no one will ever take his place. "Maybe somebody else would have come up and went another way," Waters mused. "I came up at the right time and the right season, and I should say, I just taken it over. I just taken Chicago completely over!"