Jazz Articles about Taj Mahal
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by Steve Yip
Folk/blues practitioner Taj Mahal's Savoy is to be savored. As one of the custodians of the blues, Mahal has long been a legend in his own time. This collection traverses a cultural-musical continuum in an indispensable residency in the annals of Black American music. The namesake of this album--the Savoy on Lenox Avenue in Harlem--was known as The World's Finest Ballroom and Home Of Happy Feet. In the pre-Civil Rights era, the North claimed formal equality, but segregation ...read more
by Dave Linn
Savoy, from Taj Mahal, is the latest entrant in the crowded field of pop music artists trying their hand at the fertile songbook of old big-band, swing-era standards. Unlike most, Mahal's roots show he's well suited to the task. He was born in Harlem in 1942. He grew up in a musical family, and his parents were both involved in the arts. His father was a jazz pianist and arranger, working with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Fletcher Henderson among ...read more
by Nenad Georgievski
There is an African proverb that says If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The intimacy and the dynamics of the duet setting have long appealed to virtuoso guitarist Ry Cooder. During his expansive six decade career, he has released several adventurous duets and collaborative albums with luminaries such as guitarist Ali Farka Toure, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt or Manuel Galban, to name but a few. Get on Board is ...read more
by Doug Collette
The Taj Mahal Trio Higher Ground South Burlington, Vermont June 18, 2009
Given the pre-show buzz in the ballroom, it is quite likely Taj Mahal had the Higher Ground crowd in the palm of his hand before he even ambled onstage on June 18th. He didn't take their loyalty for granted, however, or just go through the motions--he only made it look that easy.
More a stylist than an innovator, Taj Mahal has nevertheless ...read more
by Woodrow Wilkins
With a forty-year track record of recording the blues, Taj Mahal has earned the label of maestro. Now, he celebrates four decades with an album that uses that word as its theme.Born Henry St. Clair Fredricks in 1942, Mahal has mixed a variety of cultural influences in making his music. Although primarily a vocalist, he also plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, banjo and harmonica. The two-time Grammy winner has performed with or opened for Otis Redding, ...read more
by Doug Collette
Maestro is the perfect title for this Taj Mahal album. No matter who the star cameo is on a given track--and there is a famous name on almost every one--it's quite clear that the source of direction (not to mention the original inspiration) comes from Mahal himself. Not surprisingly, the best moments arise in his role as a bandleader.
His own Phantom Blues Band accompanies him on a salty take on Scratch My Back," the steady ...read more
by Doug Collette
The Taj Mahal Trio Flynn Center for The Performing Arts Burlington, Vermont March 8, 2006
The perfectly unassuming way Taj Mahal came on stage March 8th and began to play without formal introduction set an understated tone for this evening at the Flynn Center. The low-key approach may have undercut the potency of the bluesman's music too, but that may be more of a comment on the times than the show itself.
Mavis ...read more