A Tip Of The Hat To Fats
By Greg Johnson
Every Mitch Woods performance is a date filled with excitement and energy. This live recording comes from the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and is the perfect example of what to expect from him onstage. The playlist is classic Woods material, including his live standards “Crawfishin” and “The House of Blue Lights.” The title of the disc, A Tip Of The Hat To Fats, may be a bit of a misnomer however, as there are only three numbers that can be associated with the Fats Domino catalog, and they’re not even songs that he wrote himself (Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya,” Dave Batholomew’s “Blue Monday” and Bobby Charles’ “Walkin’ To New Orleans”). But does that make his tribute any less appealing? Hell no! This is a fun set of music that boogies start to finish.
What really makes this release extra special, aside from Woods’ dexterity on the keys, is the line-up of well-respected New Orleans-based musicians join him during the set. Many are even alumni of Fats Domino’s and Allen Toussaint’s bands. All are incredible, but just to note a few: guitarist John Fohl, drummer Earl Palmer, sax-man Herb Hardesty, Cornell Williams from Jon Cleary’s band on bass, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s Terence Higgins also on drums.
First-rate Mitch Woods live, whether at JazzFest or anywhere else, this is a terrific performance.
Total Time: 40:24
Solid Gold Cadillac / Down Boy Down / Mojo Mambo / Crawfishin’ / Blue Monday / Jambalaya / Walkin’ To New Orleans / Rocket 88 / The House Of Blue Lights