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Maestro [CD]

Taj Mahal Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 8.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Music

Image of album by Taj Mahal

Photos

Image of Taj Mahal

Biography

American blues musician Taj Mahal, was born Henry Fredericks in New York in 1942. His music is a mix of blues, Caribbean styles, bluegrass and the music of Hawaii, where he lived for a number of years.

He formed Rising Sons with fellow bluesman Ry Cooder, playing at Whisky a Go Go, which gave him the opportunity to play with blues legends, amongst them Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and ... Read more in Amazon's Taj Mahal Store

Visit Amazon's Taj Mahal Store
for 80 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Maestro + Phantom Blues + Senor Blues
Price For All Three: 20.59

Buy the selected items together
  • Phantom Blues 6.90
  • Senor Blues 5.33

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Heads Up
  • ASIN: B001DDBCWS
  • Other Editions: Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,487 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Scratch My Back
2. Never Let You Go
3. Dust Me Down
4. Further On Down the Road
5. Black Man, Brown Man
6. Zanzibar
7. TV Mama
8. I Can Make You Happy
9. Slow Drag
10. Hello Josephine
11. Strong Man Holler
12. Diddy Wah Diddy

Product Description

Product Description

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal, a two-time GRAMMY® winner, is one of the most influential American blues and roots artists of the past half-century. In his never-ending exploration of the complex origins and underpinnings of American music, he has forged a four-decade career by gathering and distilling countless musical traditions from a range of geographical and cultural sources: the Mississippi Delta, the Appalachian backwoods, the African continent, the Hawaiian islands, Europe, the Caribbean and so much more.

'Maestro', his first new recording for five years, marks the fortieth anniversary of Taj's rich and varied recording career by mixing original material with classics from vintage sources and newcomers alike. Guests on this anniversary celebration include Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Toumani Diabate, Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley and others - many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj's music and guidance.

But Maestro is much more than just a tribute to past glories. It captures the same level of intensity and depth that has characterized every one of Taj's recordings since his self-titled debut album in 1968. Simply put, four decades have done nothing to dilute his energy quotient.

In addition to the standard CD release, Maestro will also be available on vinyl in a Limited Edition 40th Anniversary Collector's Double LP.

Personnel:
Taj Mahal - (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica, ukulele), Ben Harper - (vocals - 3), Jack Johnson - (vocals - 4), Angelique Kidjo - (vocals - 6), Toumani Diabate - (kora - 6), Bassekou Kouyate - (ngoni - 6), Los Lobos (2,7), Ziggy Marley & Band (5), Rudy Costa - (alto saxophone - 5), Deva Mahal - (background vocals - 2)

Phantom Blues Band (1,4,9,12): Larry Fulcher - (bass), Tony Braunagel - (drums), Johnny Lee Schell - (guitar), Mike Finnigan - (keyboards), Joe Sublett - (tenor saxophone), Darrell Leonard - (trumpet)

New Orleans Social Club (8,10): Ivan Neville - (Hammond B3), George Porter - (bass), Leo Nocentelli - (guitar), Henry Butler - (piano), Raymond Weber - (drums) and others

Product Description

Sometimes the variety of styles sounds a bit irritating. Anyhow, this is fine record presenting his usual blend of various world music elements including the blues. TAJ MAHAL voc/ukulele/gtrs, JOHNNY LEE SCHELL gtr, MIKE FINNIGAN kbds, LARRY FULCHER bass, TONY BARUNAGLE drums, plus horns. Special guests: LOS LOBOS, BEN HARPER voc, ZIGGY MARLEY voc, IVAN NEVILLE voc, BILLY BRANCH hca, etc.Medium 1
  1. Scratch My Back
  2. Never Let You Go
  3. Dust Me Down
  4. Further On Down The Road
  5. Black Man, Brown Man
  6. Zanzibar
  7. Tv Mama
  8. I Can Make You Happy
  9. Slow Drag
  10. Hello Josephine
  11. Strong Man Holler
  12. Diddy Wah Diddy

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By G. E. Harrison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This CD celebrates Taj's 40 years in the biz and mainly follows on from his 90s records like 'Phantom Blues', 'Senor Blues' and 'Dancing the blues' which were all very accessible with lots of uptempo R&B covers. I'd say this CD is even better than those records, a great mix of blues, R&B and world music offering great variety, good songs and wonderful playing. Apparently it's Taj's first new recording in five years and he certainly sounds really fresh and raring to go.

We get off to a great start with Slim Harpo's "Scratch my back" done Stax style courtesy of the Phantom Blues Band (Wot no harp?). They also finish off the record with a great version of the Willie Dixon/Captain Beefheart song "Diddy Wah Diddy". Jack Johnson appears as a guest on Taj's "Further On Down The Road" but doesn't add a great deal whereas Ben Harper and Ziggy Marley both fit in great with Taj on "Dust me down" and "Black Man Brown Man". Kora player Toumani Diabate and Angelique Kidjo guest on the exotic "Zanzibar" and then it's back to the blues with Taj singing and playing harp with Los Lobos on a swinging version of Big Joe Turner's "TV Mama". The New Orleans Social Club back Taj on Fats Domino's "Hello Josephine" (which appeared on the Fats tribute CD 'Goin' Home') but I particularly love their contribution to the funky "I Can Make You Happy", with Henry Butler and Ivan Neville's keyboards being outstanding. "Strong Man Holler" is a moody slow blues with Taj playing some nice harp and "Slow Drag", with Taj on banjo, sounds like an out-take from one of his early 70s records.

What a wonderful way to celebrate 40 years of making great music, I just hope we get to see him touring the record in the UK soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Victor HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's now 40 years since the Blues legend that is Taj Mahal started his recording career. And to celebrate he has produced this great album. The tracks are really a retrospective of his career, we have the great straight blues of 'Scratch My Back' and Willie Dixon's 'Diddy Wah Diddy', mixed in with his African roots music in tracks such as 'Zanzibar'. The blend of styles work, and the album comes together as a decent whole.

The musicianship is excellent, the song writing and choice of tracks is very strong, and Taj is on fine form, both on vocals and guitar. It has the sound of someone who is still enjoying making great music, and the enthusiasm is infectious. This is a CD that gets played a lot. This album may well come to be regarded as a classic in the great man's canon. Hopefully there's still plenty more where this came from!

Recommended for any fan of blues/roots/gospel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TAJ MAJESTIC 23 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another stunning performance from Taj Mahal. His ability to deliver in his wide range of styles shows no sign of diminishing. Blues, soul, proper R & B and reggae with a touch of West Africa. Magic

Mike, Stoupa, Greece
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With excellent records like this - here's to the next 40 years! 8 Oct 2008
By G. E. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album celebrates 40 years in the record business for Taj. I bought his first album, which I still play and enjoy, and this new one is a wonderful record that is full of variety - blues, reggae, world music, acoustic, electric and includes guests like Los Lobos, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Apparently it's Taj's first release of new material for five years and he certainly sounds refreshed and raring to go.

We get off to a great start with Slim Harpo's "Scratch my back" done Stax style with the Phantom Blues Band, who also close the album in similar style with the Willie Dixon/Captain Beefheart song "Diddy Wah Diddy". Jack Johnson guests on Taj's own "Further on down the road" but doesn't really add a great deal, whereas Ben Harper and Ziggy Marley both hold their own on "Dust me down" and "Black man, brown man" respectively. Kora player Toumani Diabate and Angelique Kidjo guest on the exotic "Zanzibar" while "Slow drag" features Taj on banjo and sounds like an out take from one of his late 60s records. Los Lobos join Taj for a great, raw blues rendering of the Big Joe Turner/Elmore James classic "TV Mama". The New Orleans Social Club, including Ivan Neville and Henry Butler on keyboards, join Taj for a rocking version of Fats Domino's "Hello Josephine" (as featured on the Fats tribute CD "Goin' home") and on the slower blues "I can make you happy".

This record carries on from where his other recent records "Dancing the blues", "Phantom blues" and "Senor blues" left off but I think this is even better, with not just R&B updates but real blues and world music too. Taj I salute you, here's to the next 40 years.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 years of authentic, infectious, timeless music 25 Oct 2008
By Luigi Facotti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Taj Mahal was my introduction to the blues with Statesboro Blues in 1965 - since then - irrespective of the genre, Taj's music has been authentic and enjoyable and this CD is no exception. What a joy to hear Further on Down the Road in its 2008 reincarnation and then go back to the 1960s version. And the guest artists sound INVOLVED!!
Taj is one of two musicians - the other being Bill Withers (who Joe Henry has threatened to bring out of retirement for a new CD) whose music is absolutely timeless.
Here's to the next 40 years!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taj Mahal Maestro of the Blues, World Music 5 Oct 2008
By Edje - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Taj Mahal in his 40th year shows us why he is the Maestro of the blues, world music and our hearts. This CD rocks and you won't be able to sit still as you listen to it.

Each track shines brightly. The track TV Mama with Los Lobos is pure blues with David Hidalgo on slide guitar and Taj on vocals and harmonica. Hello Josephine with the New Orleans Social Club takes us to the Delta and man do we love it.

Taj is at home with everyone he is playing with here. And the love and respect is mutual in return.

I can't describe it all yet but what a cornucopia of music Taj and friends makes here. Harvest it.

My hat is off to Taj, the Maestro 40 years on!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musician's Musician 6 Nov 2008
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Taj Mahal has all the qualities of a true American, nay, world master musician: vocal and instrumental technique, characteristic personal style, the curiosity of exploration, the fearlessness of experimentation, wisdom, and group leadship. Listening to this wide-ranging CD, I was struck with how many blues styles he captured, from country to urban, from the Deep South to the Caribbean to West Africa, at home on banjo, harmonica, and acoustic and electric guitars. With the great group Los Lobos and also the Phantom Blues Band and Ziggy Marley's Band as support, we take a grand tour of a great musical soul, the result of decades of learning. Having first heard Taj Mahal 40 years ago and enjoyed his works over the ensuing years, I regard this album as a classic must buy. How apt its title!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great American Roots Musician 25 Feb 2009
By Art and Music - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The title of this album is a perfect description for the multi-talented Taj Mahal. Through the years, he has played with pure integrity, virtuosity, taste, and great showmanship.

The CD contains a varied selection of tunes and styles ranging from hokum blues to Fats Domino to African music, all of which are capably handled by this gifted artist.

Taj's passionate, expressive singing is a joy to listen to. In addition, he plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, banjo-frailing and picking-harmonica, and barrelhouse piano, all at the level of virtuosity (but not all on this CD). And he probably plays a few other instruments too.

Taj Mahal plays with feeling, authority, and he has fun while he plays. He knows and appreciates the history of American roots music. I especially enjoy the comment he makes on the promo video about "not selling out to the music industry."

I would encourage any listener who is new to blues or roots music to listen to Taj Mahal - his playing will educate and enlighten you.

Finally, he puts on of the best live shows in the business. What a great and inspiring musician. Hats off to Taj Mahal for all he has done to perpetuate good music, including making this fine album.
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