Taking his gumbo up to the land of Yanks, The Fat Man is captured in his prime, giving the most well-rounded performance of his life.
The ’70s might saw Fats’ studio output dried up but, by that time, the veteran had acquired a bit of a legendary status and his concerts – such as this one, taped in Philadelphia’s Civic Center – expanded to gain a genuine Big Easy spirit. Here, Domino and the band don’t take a long time to work the crowd into a festive frenzy, starting the one-hour-plus show with “Let The Four Winds Blow” and wrapping things up with “Jambalaya” that roll out a lengthy bout of jamming, while scattering the hits among less obvious material.
Of course, “Ain’t That A Shame” and “Blueberry Hill” are there, yet pieces like “Another Mule” allow the artist ruffle his piano runs in a Professor Longhair manner, and the moderate wildness serves the 45-year-old Domino well. His Southern drawl grime “Walking To New Orleans” and “Whiskey Heaven” for good, and even “Your Cheatin’ Heart” gets a chitlin’ circuit kind of ring to it, whereas, boogie abound, “Goin’ To The River” and “When My Dreamboat Comes Home” marry grace with infectious jive of varying tempo.
Alternately glossy and greasy, as befits one named Fats, the delivery is a delight throughout making this quite possibly the man’s best available on-stage document.