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Looking at Mahal's blues

Taj's Blues
Taj's Blues
By Taj Mahal

Columbia Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the July 24, 1992 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Taj Mahal was one of the few black Americans of his generation (1960s) to fully immerse himself in the blues and engage the music on his own terms. Mahal helped take the music beyond what his generation inherited.

This compilation of his material from the late '60s through the mid-'70s captures the unabashedly straight-ahead sensibility and aggressively experimental arrangements and rhythms that mark Mahal's best work.

The material is a mixture of covers and originals, in acoustic and electric settings. The one thread of commonality is the high level to which Taj Mahal always lifts the music.