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.
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
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.