Friday, May 13, 2011

Taj Mahal - World Music

Taj Mahal emerged on the music scene at the tail end of the '60s as one of the new breed of bluesman, garnering critical accolades and the admiration of fellow musicians (like the Rolling Stones who featured him in their TV special "Rock n Roll Circus"). His first four albums ("Taj Mahal," "Natch'l Blues," "Real Thing," & "Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home") are all straight ahead blues and are currently in print. Mahal then began to incorporate other African -influenced music forms into his blues, starting with reggae on "Mo' Roots" (which, also, is still in print). Other styles like Calypso, African, and Salsa crept into the mix on a series of fine records from the '70s which are now, regrettably, ALL out print. This CD, "World Music" offers a compilation of some of the best tracks from those albums, as well as the aforementioned "Mo' Roots." When you hear how great the mix of styles comes off, you will scratch your head and wonder why the rest of this great music isn't available. It's lovely and soulful and totally unique. The albums these cuts are culled from are, primarily, "Music Keeps Me Together," "Mo' Roots," and "Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff." Two other fine Taj world music titles, "Music Fuh Ya (Musica Para Tu)" and "Evolution (the Most Recent)" are available as imports. The other titles, "Satisfied and Tickled Too," "Happy Just To Be Like I Am," and "Ooh So Good 'n' Blues" are still out of print. As it does not look like they will be readily available here in the States any time soon, this collection is about the best you will find of one of a great American musician's most fertile period. - from

Journey with Taj to the roots of his ancestors via the Caribbean, West Indies, and Africa. Each song weaves a story painted with Taj’s “Pan-African” rhythms, style and charm; like soothing island breezes full of warm memories. Included liner notes featuring an explanation of each song by Taj. Digitally remastered. - from Taj's website

Artist: Taj Mahal (aka Henry Saint Clair Fredericks)
Album: World Music
Year: 1993
Label: Sony/Columbia (Dig. remastered)
Runtime: 54:43

1.  When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul (Taj Mahal) 3:07
2.  My Ancestors (Taj Mahal) 4:05
3.  Slave Driver (Bob Marley) 2:43
4.  West Indian Revelation (Taj Mahal) 6:59
5.  Kalimba (Taj Mahal) 1:40
6.  Desperate Lover (Keith Anderson) 2:46
7.  Clara "St. Kitts Woman" (Taj Mahal) 4:03
8.  Cajun Waltz (Adapted Taj Mahal) 6:04
9.  Roll, Turn, Spin (Taj Mahal) 4:45
10.  Johnny Too Bad (The Slickers) 3:16
11.  Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry) 3:44
12.  Blackjack Davey (Taj Mahal) 3:39
13.  Music Keeps Me Together (Earl Lindo) 3:39
14.  When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul (Reprise) (Taj Mahal) 3:05

Taj Mahal (Guitar, Vocal)
Merle Saunders (Keyboards)
others unknown


  1. An excellent choice to share. Mahal has consistantly made great music and has remained true to himself and his roots. Of all his recordings, I believe this period has always been among my favorites and deserve to be heard by a wider audience who may have missed them the first time around. Thanks for offering some examples in this truncated form.

  2. One of the links works. thx.



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