Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In Progress & In Motion: 1965-1998
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
Taj Mahal has become a blues ambassador, carrying the music to new audiences and melding it with other influences. It's altogether appropriate, then, that three of the early tracks on this three-CD set are unreleased from ... more »
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Taj Mahal has become a blues ambassador, carrying the music to new audiences and melding it with other influences. It's altogether appropriate, then, that three of the early tracks on this three-CD set are unreleased from the Rolling Stones 1968 musical experiment, Rock and Roll Circus. This box emphasizes (but is not limited to) Taj's early career--the late-'60s through the mid-'70s--and whether he's playing solo acoustic instrumentals ("Buck Dancer's Choice"), revving up a rock band ("Statesboro Blues"), or weaving his National Steel guitar around tubas ("Sweet Mama Janisse"), the blues element is never far from center. He even brings out the Pointer Sisters, who funkify the blues standard, "Sweet Home Chicago." The latter part of the box ventures into the 1980s and '90s, and features some songs for kids. Taj Mahal makes a world gumbo of the blues, spiced with a nice hot sauce. --Robert Gordon
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One of the Seven Wonders...
David Kinney | San Francisco, Ca. United States | 02/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Old timers may remember that in the early 70's Flo and Eddie (of The Turtles)wrote a column in Creem magazine reviewing records. They hated everything. When they reviewed Taj Mahal's Mo' Roots album they lampooned his assimilation of Carribean music and accused him of being a bandwagon jumper."...we can't wait until Taj discovers Swiss yodeling and starts wearing a Tyrolean hat",they wrote. Actually it was pretty funny, but what they didn't realize is that Taj's paternal family were West Indians, so this music was his birthright,just as much as the spirituals,slave hollers,and blues he heard from his mother's rural southern upbringing were. It's his music and it comes to him as natural as breathing. This comprehensive 3 CD set is an excellent place for novices and old pros alike to welcome the music of Taj into their homes. From The Rising Sons,Taj's seminal 60's band that included Ry Cooder, romping through "Statesboro Blues", down through the great Jesse Ed Davis led Tulsa Roadhouse band,the tuba years (yes!),and finally the steel drum laden Carribean kiss, this set is not to be missed.Yeah the liner notes are scanty, but it's the steak, not the sizzle, that matters here.Any guy that can jam the blues with Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop live at the Fillmore and hold his own ,on pennywhistle yet, is okay by me. So Taj, if you want to try Swiss yodeling that'll be cool too. You wear that Tyrolean hat with pride and I'll throw in a pair of lederhosen. Bring the tubas with ya."
A very comprehensive retrospective.
David Kinney | 10/13/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm perhaps a bit biased, since I've been a huge Taj fan since the release of his first solo album in the late 60s, but to my ears, this is one terrific collection. More than a dozen previously unreleased cuts, a nice broad selection of album tracks, a couple of Rising Sons tunes, and a nicely done autobiographical essay (actually compiled from interviews). My only real quibble with this collection is that the liner notes don't include musician credits for any of the cuts. It's particularly important, I think, when documenting a 30 year time span, that the musicians who helped define the sound be acknowledged; for the unreleased material, there may be no other place to look for such information. [And note that it's probably not Taj's fault. Most Sony/Columbia/Legacy collections like this suffer the same lack of attention to such detail.] No matter: it's still worth the money, even if you have a nice Taj collection. If you don't have any, this is a great introduction to a really great voice in American music."
Not a wasted note
David A. James | Fairbanks, AK USA | 03/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is easily one of the best box sets on the market, at least in terms of the musical content. As others have noted, there is little in the way of information (though the autobiographical essay is quite inspiring). But to hear this man play more than makes up for this. One of the true American originals, Taj Mahal is a unique voice who can blend many and varied influences into a sound unmistakably his own. Every track on this CD set is top notch. This is one of the two or three most played recordings I own. When Taj launches in to Elizabeth Cotton's "Freight Train" at the end of disc two, it is with complete love for the tradition he so clearly belongs to, and the artists who pointed him to the way. The Spirit is on this man, and it won't let go. An American classic."