To celebrate Taj Mahal’s 70th Birthday on May 17, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, has started a major catalog reissue project beginning with the release of the newly-curated The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973, a two-disc collection of previously unreleased studio and live performances, available Tuesday August 21.
A two-disc set chronicling the early stages of Taj Mahal’s solo career, The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 features two CDs comprised entirely of unreleased finished material. The first disc debuts studio recordings from 1967-1973, while the second disc premieres a full-length live concert, recorded April 18, 1970 at the Royal Albert Hall in London (on a bill that included Santana).
The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 is the first release in an ongoing catalog project which includes plans to release definitive editions of the artist’s entire Columbia Records catalog.
“Throughout my more than 40 years of recording, I have always been an outside-the-box composer/musician/performer and not always understood by the music industry, so it gives me a phenomenal amount of personal pleasure to have Sony/Legacy reissue my whole catalog of music! This is fabulous news for the legions of fans who have always been unfailingly loyal to me and this music we’ve shared for the duration of a wonderful and (thank you very much) still on-going career of touring and playing live for fans around the world!,” said Taj Mahal. “This excitement is amplified even more for everyone (me included) by the first-time release of an excellent live concert from Royal Albert Hall in London, England and an album of never before released studio musical gems! I’m thrilled that this music is finally coming to the light of day! So go for it babies! Listen and dance your (bleep) off to the music we love so much and glad there’s more where that came from! I made the music of my heart and y’all helped!!”
Born Henry St. Clair Fredericks, Jr. in Harlem, New York, on May 17, 1942, Taj Mahal has created an impressive body of work, a bedrock blues flavored with strains of West Indian, Caribbean and African music with elements of jazz, rock and reggae flowing effortlessly through the mix. A two-time Grammy winner, Taj Mahal opened the untapped potential of the Delta Blues, felt the connection to African soul and island rhythms, and became one of world music’s first proponents and champions.
The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 Track Listing
CD 1 – Studio
1. Chainey Do
2. Sweet Mama Janisse (February 1970, Criteria Recording Studios)
3. Yan – Nah Mama – Loo
4. Tomorrow May Not Be Your Day
5. I Pity The Poor Immigrant
6. Jacob’s Ladder
7. Ain’t Gwine Whistle Dixie (Any Mo’)
8. Sweet Mama Janisse (January 1971 Bearsville Recording Studios, Woodstock, NY)
9. You Ain’t No Streetwalker, Honey But I Do Love The Way You Strut Your Stuff
10. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
11. Shady Grove
CD 2 – Royal Albert Hall
1. Runnin By The Riverside
2. John, Ain’t It Hard
3. Band Introduction
4. Sweet Mama Janisse
5. Big Fat
6. Diving Duck Blues
7. Checkin’ Up On My Baby
8. Oh Susanna
9. Bacon Fat
10. Tomorrow May Not Be Your Day
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.