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The Essential Taj Mahal

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Taj Mahal 8/16/2005

Review

The Essential Taj Mahal pulls together the bluesman's Columbia, Warner, Gramavision Private Music, and Hannibal labels' recordings, making it the first truly cross-licensed compilation of his work. Given the depth and breadth of this set (it covers four decades), the listener gets not only a cross-sectional view of the artist, but also his innovative and idiosyncratic journey through the blues: Mahal has not only kept the tradition alive, he's expanded it and deepened it, tracing its roots and developments through the course of American, Caribbean, and African cultures. While there is no unreleased material here, there doesn't need to be. The sheer adventure in these recordings reveals the wealth of the contribution Mahal has made not only to the blues, but to popular culture both present and past. This is a comp to own, to be moved by, and to ultimately enjoy. Columbia issued a three-CD set earlier, but there were things there that needed to be trimmed. This leaner and meaner version is superior. ~ Thom Jurek
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Leaving Trunk Taj Mahal 4:48
  3. 2 Statesboro Blues Blind Willie McTell 2:57
  4. 3 The Celebrated Walkin' Blues Taj Mahal 8:51
  5. 4 She Caught the Katy (And Left Me a Mule to Ride) Taj Mahal 3:27
  6. 5 Corinna Taj Mahal 3:1
  7. 6 Going Up to the Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue Taj Mahal 3:36
  8. 7 Take a Giant Step Taj Mahal 4:16
  9. 8 Six Days on the Road Taj Mahal 2:58
  10. 9 Country Blues #1 Taj Mahal 2:37
  11. 10 Fishin' Blues Taj Mahal 3:7
  12. 11 Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie (Anymo') Taj Mahal 8:37
  13. 12 You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond Taj Mahal 6:17
  14. 13 Happy to Be Just Like I Am Taj Mahal 3:48
  15. 14 West Indian Revelation Taj Mahal 6:5
  16. 15 Texas Woman Blues Taj Mahal 2:55
  17. 16 Cakewalk into Town Taj Mahal 2:31
  18. 17 Frankie & Albert Taj Mahal 3:58
  19. 18 Railroad Bill Taj Mahal 2:48
  20. 1 Johnny Too Bad Taj Mahal 3:15
  21. 2 Slave Driver Taj Mahal 2:43
  22. 3 (Clara) St. Kitts Woman Taj Mahal 4:15
  23. 4 When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul Taj Mahal 3:6
  24. 5 Satisfied 'N' Tickled Too Taj Mahal 5:25
  25. 6 Love Theme in the Key of D Taj Mahal 8:3
  26. 7 Everybody Is Somebody Taj Mahal 3:29
  27. 8 Crossing Taj Mahal 2:32
  28. 9 Don't Call Us Taj Mahal 4:20
  29. 10 Big Legged Mommas Are Back in Style Taj Mahal 4:19
  30. 11 That's How Strong My Love Is Taj Mahal 3:9
  31. 12 Here in the Dark Taj Mahal 3:8
  32. 13 Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes Taj Mahal 2:36
  33. 14 Señor Blues Taj Mahal 6:45
  34. 15 The New Hula Blues Taj Mahal 4:45
  35. 16 Queen Bee Taj Mahal 5:3
  36. 17 Cruisin' Taj Mahal 3:47
  37. 18 John Henry Taj Mahal 3:41

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