Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Conjure: Music for the Texts of Ishmael Reed
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
Peter McLuskie aka Prof. EZ | WELLINGTON New Zealand | 06/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a long standing fan of Taj Mahal, I consider this to be the most outstanding musical project that Taj has was involved in during the '80's (following the demise of the incomparable International Rhythm Band). With inputs by various musical legends (from Lester Bowie to Alan Toussaint, Conjure seamlessly flows through a variety of style, from R&B to jazz. The beauty of the work has oft moved me to tears - it is a testimony to the power of the poetry and the collaborative musical visions of some great artists. This is very hard to get hold of, so if you are lucky enough to track down a copy then do not hesitate - buy it. The only sad thing is that this album has never received the musical recognition that it deserves (otherwise it would be in a constant state of re-issue). Also included is a wonderful reading by the Ishmael Reed of his poem Thorazine Jesus - a treasure in its own right."
Great great great great
Eric Wagner | Freetopia | 03/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful poetry (and passages from novels) by Ishmael Reed set to very funky music. Great vocals by Taj Mahal on many tracks. One of my favorite recordings."
Rises above being a wooly novelty
Anthony Cooper | Louisville, KY United States | 08/21/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Kip Hanrahan is a musician who makes albums without writing the songs, necessarily, or playing on the songs, necessarily. He comes up with an idea, and gets the disc made. "Conjure" is an Ishmael Reed tribute, and Reed supplies all the lyrics. The musicians change from song to song, but there are a lot of respected jazzers -- David Murray, Olu Dara, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Billy Hart, and Lester Bowie. Taj Mahal does a lot of the singing, though he's not the only vocalist. Each song combines Reed's lyrics with a different musician's music (though Swallow writes three songs). The music has a very 70's jazzy R&B feel to it. Unfortunately, the music hasn't aged as well as, for example, David Murray's straight jazz from the same era. Reed's lyrics are excellent, but some of the songs were probably better as prose. The highlights are "Jes' Grew", "Skydiving", "Betty Ball's Blues", and "From The Files Of Agent 22". Even if the song isn't that great, it does have a great heart. Even though I only give this 3 stars, it's still fairly entertaining."