CD Maestro [Taj Mahal] [CD] [1 disc] (CD 1319380),
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Maestro [Taj Mahal] [CD] [1 disc]
1. Scratch My Back
2. Never Let You Go
3. Dust Me Down
4. Further on Down the Road
5. Black Man, Brown Man
7. TV Mama
8. I Can Make You Happy
9. Slow Drag
10. Hello Josephine
11. Strong Man Holler
12. Diddy Wah Diddy
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 3164
Gordie Johnson; Johnny Lee Schell; Taj Mahal; Warren Haynes
Danny Kalb; Gordie Johnson; Mark Johnson; Joe McGrath; Johnny Lee Schell; Marc Moreau
Personnel: Taj Mahal (vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica); Anglique Kidjo, Ziggy Marley (vocals); Takeshi Akimoto, Jason Mozersky, David Hidalgo, Johnny Lee Schell, Cesar Rosas, Leo Nocentelli (guitar); Louie Prez (jarana); Toumani Diabat (kora); Billy Branch (harmonica); Rudy Costa (alto saxophone); Steve Berlin (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, organ); Joe Sublett (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Darrell Leonard (trumpet); Michael Hyde, Jason Yates, Mick Weaver (keyboards); Michael Jerome, Kester Smith (drums, percussion); Tony Braunagel, Cougar Estrada, Carlton "Santa" Davis (drums); Debra Dobkin (percussion); Deva Mahal, Pebbles Phillips, Tracy Hazzard, C.C. White (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Joe McGrath.
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sonikwire Studios, Irvine, CA; The Mango Tree; The Shed, New Orleans, LA; Ultratone, Los Angeles, CA; Westlake Audio, Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Baron Wolman; Jay Blakesberg; Michael Crook.
American original Taj Mahal has been redefining the blues while maintaining an unassailably authentic sound since the 1960s, and on his 2008 album, MAESTRO, his powers show no sign of diminishment. From the flashy funk of "Dust You Down" to the reggae grooves of "Brown Man, Black Man," and the New Orleans second-line rhythm of "Hello Josephine," he often ventures beyond the traditional blues but it's still there in everything he does, like a sonic fingeprint that can't be altered.
Entertainment Weekly (p.77) - "Taj Mahal continues to resist the constraints of genre. And so the reggae rhythms of 'Never Let You Go' are provided by ukulele, trombone, and Latin workhorses Los Lobos..." -- Grade: B+
Down Beat (p.86) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "For this 40th anniversary oeuvre, Taj Mahal marshals cues from the furthest reaches of blues-based music to create a retrospective of the influences that have informed four decades of experimentation and innovation."
Dirty Linen (pp.42-43) - "'Strong Man Holler,' with no guests and simple accompaniment, is classic Taj Mahal at his best: a bit of a low growl Howlin' Wolf delivery on a song that only sounds like it's been around for 75 years."
Living Blues (p.38) - "Mahal's move to Heads Up for the appropriately titled MAESTRO finds the veteran artist in top musical condition, full of vitality and as eager to get the listener moving and shaking as he is during his live shows."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hen Ben Harper turns his guitar up, things get interesting, the New Orleans Social Club's two offerings are a blast, and Los Lobos are heard to better effect on 'TV Mama'..."
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Telarc Distribution HUCD 3164
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