CD Sacred Island [886974947721] (CD 6916132),
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Sacred Island [886974947721]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 749477

  • Credits

    Personnel: Taj Mahal (vocals, dobro, harmonica); Fred Lunt (Hawaiian steel guitar); Carlos Andrade (tenor ukelele, slack-key guitar, vocals); Wayne Jacintho (tenor ukelele, slack-key guitar, background vocals); Michael Barretto (baritone ukelele, background vocals); Pat Cockett (ukelele, background vocals); Rudy Costa (alto, soprano & C-melody saxophones, kalimba, pan pipe, clarinet, zither, flute, background vocals); Pancho Graham (acoustic bass, background vocals); Kester Smith (drums, cowbell); Carey Williams (background vocals).
    Recorded at Messenger Studio, Kauai, Hawaii on May 28-31, 1997. Includes liner notes by Taj Mahal.
    SACRED ISLAND explores the sounds of the Hawaiian islands, a place Taj Mahal called home for 12 years. Mahal uses plenty of slack-key guitar and ukulele to inject authenticity into the proceedings and adds a twist with unorthodox instrumental combinations including zither, Pan pipe and kalimba. Chuck Willis' "Betty And Dupree" is given a makeover right down to the loping tempo and spiraling slack-key as Mahal scratches out some chords on dobro. Elsewhere, Toots Hibbert's "Coconut Man" and its reggae beat are given a twist with some inventive Pan Pipe playing.
    The mood throughout is relaxed, as the trade winds seem to rise off the music being played. The only time TM hands over the vocals is when Carlos Andrade sings "No Na Mamo," a song that he wrote in the traditional Hawaiian style. "Mailbox Blues" is the one blues song (duh) that allows Mahal to honk away on harp and play slide, while the instrumental "Kanikapila" picks up the pace amidst a melange of wailing sax, biting harp, jazzy stand-up bass and Mahal's occasional lusty shout.

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (4/17/98, pp.72-73) - "...[Taj Mahal] filter[s] his down-home blues sensibility through the indolent strains of Hawaii...It's a perfect (i.e. relaxed) fit, and this encyclopedia of Third World musical styles adds yet another idiom to his massive vocabulary." - Rating: B
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