Taj Mahal is ever-expanding his musical capabilities with rich textures gathered from across the world stage. Taj ranges with natural motion from the blues, through calypso, diving into reggae and swaying us like palm trees with island music.
It has been 37 years since I last saw Taj Mahal perform live at The Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Ct on October 30, 1974. I spent quality time with Taj Mahal that evening as I interviewed him for a local music magazine. He played a National Steel Guitar underneath the interview as we talked in his dressing room. Sitting right outside his dressing room that night was James Cotton who joined Taj Mahal softly on his harp. That is one of my fondest backstage moments when two pivotal blues musicians broke out in improvisational song as background accompaniment in my presence.
I also saw Taj Mahal open for the Mahavishnu Orchestra at Staples High School in Westport, Ct. 1973. Taj Mahal had Howard Johnson on Tuba with him that evening and Taj’s set was reminiscent of The Real Thing recorded live at The Fillmore East in 1971.
My lovely wife Rosemary purchased tickets to see Taj Mahal and Los Lobos live at The Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, Ct. on Saturday February 19th. My modus operandi before I attend a concert is to immerse myself in that artist’s music and read as much as I can about them and their art. I enjoy researching the artist’s Web pages, catching up on what has been written and learned about the artist. Its going to be both fun and a challenge assimilating Taj Mahal’s 40+ year legacy in the next 10 days 😉 Thankfully I have Zune to help me do that 😉
When I attended the University of New Haven(1972-1974) I took a music course that covered the blues extensively. I chose to write my term paper that semester about Taj Mahal. Having established a nice working relationship with Ed NaHa at Columbia Records in New York City, I availed myself of CBS Record’s research department utilizing press release and extensive artist background information files. Ed was a tremendous help to me in 1973 and 1974 when I needed background information on Mahavisnhu John McLaughlin and Taj Mahal. Ed made me feel right at home at the Big Black Rock as CBS was known as in those days. He understood it was my desire as a student majoring in business and minoring in music that I wanted to work for CBS Music when I graduated. That dream never did materialize for me but I always stayed in direct touch with music as best I could over the years.
So today’s WordPress post is dedicated to old friends and the ever unfolding music of Mr. Taj Mahal. 🙂
Taj Mahal’s latest recording is Maestro, give it a listen soon 😉