Taj Mahal

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Taj Mahal's debut album was a startling statement in its time and has held up remarkably well. Recorded in August of 1967, it was as hard and exciting a mix of old and new blues sounds as surfaced on record in a year when even a lot of veteran blues artists mostly at the insistence of their record labels started turning toward psychedelia. The guitar virtuosity, embodied in Taj Mahal's slide work which had the subtlety of a classical performance, Jesse Ed Davis's lead playing, and rhythm work by Ry Cooder and Bill Boatman, is of the neatly stripped-down variety that was alien to most records aiming for popular appeal, and the singer himself approached the music with a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Taj Mahal's debut album was a startling statement in its time and has held up remarkably well. Recorded in August of 1967, it was as hard and exciting a mix of old and new blues sounds as surfaced on record in a year when even a lot of veteran blues artists mostly at the insistence of their record labels started turning toward psychedelia. The guitar virtuosity, embodied in Taj Mahal's slide work which had the subtlety of a classical performance, Jesse Ed Davis's lead playing, and rhythm work by Ry Cooder and Bill Boatman, is of the neatly stripped-down variety that was alien to most records aiming for popular appeal, and the singer himself approached the music with a startling mix of authenticity and youthful enthusiasm. The whole record is a strange and compelling amalgam of stylistic and technical achievements -- filled with blues influences of the 1930s and 1940s, but also making use of stereo sound separation and the best recording technology. The result was numbers like Sleepy John Estes' "Diving Duck Blues," with textures resembling the mix on the early Cream albums, while "The Celebrated Walkin' Blues" even with Cooder's animated mandolin weaving its spell on one side of the stereo mix has the sound of a late '40s Chess release by Muddy Waters. Blind Willie McTell "Statesboro Blues" and Robert Johnson "Dust My Broom" are also represented, in what had to be one of the most quietly, defiantly iconoclastic records of 1968.
Entertainment Weekly - Tony Scherman
Taj’s self-titled debut explodes with high spirits.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/18/2007
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 5099749817326
  • Catalog Number: 915332
  • Sales rank: 77,324

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Taj Mahal Primary Artist, Guitar, Harp, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Bill Boatman Rhythm Guitar
Gary Gilmore Bass
Sanford Konikoff Drums
Charles Blackwell Drums
Technical Credits
Taj Mahal Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes
Stanley Crouch Liner Notes
Elmore James Composer
David Rubinson Producer
Bob Irwin Producer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
Traditional Composer
Lily Lew Packaging Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Journey Begins

    In 1968 I was 17 and listening to Jimmy Reed and Paul Butterfield amongst numerous others. I saw this Taj album at a record store and smiled at the audacity of someone calling themselves Taj Mahal, but on flippy the album over and reading the liner notes I was intigued. Songs by Sleepy John Estes, Sonny Boy, guitars by Ry Cooder and a song nearly 10 minutes long!!! I bought the album and so began my journey through the life of Taj Mahal. His first 3 albums are as good a set of blues albums as one could wish for. Plenty of rockin' blues, great guitar work, ripper songs, a bit of soul and R&B, a bit of electric country blues, plenty of acoustic traditonal blues and excellent production and engineering. This first album stands out not only because it is the first but because, along with Paul Butterfield's first album, it was the hardest rockin' blues album extant. Taj's voice (and harp) are in fine form and Jesse Ed Davis plays some of the best blues guitar ever recorded (and his piano work is outstanding). The rhythm section is as tight as Elvis' pants and lays down some very modern blues grooves, unheard of from previous "traditional" blues bands (maybe except for the classic Muddy Waters line-up).This album rocks from start to finish, well until the second-last track. The last is the acoustic Walkin' Blues, a track my friends and I used to jam on ad nauseum great fun. I bought another copy of this album as I wore out the first one and then I bought the CD version and then a double CD with the this and his second album (another beauty). Various best-of's and compilations has left me with at least 8 copies of "Leavin' Trunk" amongst plenty of of other tracks, so you could say I've paid my Taj dues!! If you like hard rockin' blues in the more traditional style get this album and start your Taj collection.

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