With Mo' Roots (Columbia, 1974) Mahal assimilated
cajun (Cajun Waltz) and Caribbean rhythms
(Johnny Too Bad, Slave Driver, Clara St. Kitts Woman).
Music Keeps Me Together (Columbia, 1975) introduced the
Intergalactic Soul Messengers Band and one of his classics,
When I Feel the Sea Beneath My Soul.
Satisfied 'n' Tickled Too (Warner, 1976) was a more traditional
another Caribbean classic, Curry, appeared on
Music Fuh Yuh (Warner, 1977).
Mahal also worked on
the soundtrack for Brothers (Warner, 1977), containing
Love Theme In The Key Of D.
Evolution (Warner, 1978) continued the string of experimental
world-fusion albums, adding
The Most Recent Evolution of Muthafusticus Modernusticus
and Queen Bee to the repertory.
To achieve his goal Mahal formed the world-music ensemble
International Rhythm Band (Magnet, 1980).
After a long hiatus, during which he relocated to Hawaii,
Mahal released Taj (Gramavision, 1987), an album that updated his sound
to the age of synthesizers and drum machines (with even a hit of disco-music).
Suddenly, very busy with all sorts of projects, Mahal
also worked on four albums of music for children,
Shake Sugaree (Music For Little People, 1987),
Big Blues (1988),
Brer' Rabbit (Windham Hill, 1990) and
children Smilin' Island Of Song (1992), and the
soundtrack to a theatrical play, Mulebone (Gramavision, 1991).
Taj's Blues (1992) compiles some outtakes and live performances.
Mahal's commercial resurgence began with the pop-oriented material on
Like Never Before (Private, 1991), particularly the spectacular
jump-boogie Big Legged Mommas Are Back In Style.
Mahal, backed by Pointer Sisters, turntablists, electronic keyboardists,
Hall & Oates, Dr John, David Lindley, romps through funk and reggae and the
Dancin' The Blues (Private, 1993), with the backing of a rock band
features some of his best compositions in years
(Blues Ain't Nothing, Strut).
World Music (Legacy, 1993) is an anthology of Mahal's world-music
Phantom Blues (Private, 1996) is a collection of
rock, soul and blues oldies, but
the Phantom Blues Band became the main expressive vehicle for Taj Mahal's
odd world-music project. It will be captured live on
Shoutin' In Key (2000).
An Evening Of Acoustic Music (Tradition And Moderne, 1994)
captures a live solo performance.
Back to his roots, Senor Blues (Private, 1997) explores
blues, jazz and soul with a solid no-frills backind band.
Blue Light Boogie (1999) is a collection of old material.
The "Hawaian" period peaked with
Sacred Island (Private, 1997). Mahal, backed by the Hula Blues Band
(mostly veterans from the International
Rhythm Band and the Intergalactic Soul Messengers Band),
returns to the naive/goofy attidude of his early albums in a set of
delightful compositions for mandolin, kalimba, ukulele and slide like
Sacred Island, The Calypsonians and
New Hula Blues.
Hanapepe Dream (Tradition & Moderne, 2001) was the follow-up, but
lacked both the charm and the material.
Following the example set by his friend Ry Cooder,
Mumtaz Mahal (Water Lily, 1995) is a collaboration with Indian musicians
Kulanjan (Hannibal, 1999) is a collaboration with African musicians.
The 3 CD-set In Progress & In Motion (1965-1998) is a wonderful
Hanapepe Dream (2003) sounded like a survey of world-music.
Maestro (2008), his first studio album in five years, was rather disappointing.
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