Era: 1990-2000

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1990

Brer Rabbit and The Wonderful Tar BabyDanny Glover narrates all time favorite children’s story, with Taj MahalBanjo, Bass, Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Composer, Keyboards, and Vocals.

Live at Ronnie Scotts – Recorded live in 1988 London, England
Producer – John Reed, Taj Mahal – vocals, guitar, electric piano
Wayne Henderson – keyboards, Kester Smith – percussion
Carey Williams – background vocals, Ozzy Williams – drums
Ward Allen – bass

Hot Spot – movie soundtrack
Taj Mahal joins Miles Davis, Earl Palmer, Tim Drummond, and Roy Rogers on song Empty Bank.

1990 Music Credits

  • Danny Glover & Taj Mahal – Brer Rabbit: Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals
  • Original Soundtrack – Hot Spot: Guitar, (Acoustic), Guitar, Vocals
  • Various Artists – Family Folk Festival: Bass, Guitar, Arranger, Vocals, Producer

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1991

Mule Bone – released on Grammavision Records
Music composed by Taj Mahal Lyrics by Langston Hughes
Mule Bone was a collaborative effort between Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Based on Ms. Hurrston’s short story Bone of Contention.
Personnel: Taj Mahal: keyboards, Bass, Guitars, Harmonica, and Banjo
Mike Sena and Mark singer: Drums, Kim Jordon: additional keyboards and synthesizers and percussion
Abdul Wali: additional guitars –Calvin “fuzzy” Samuels: Electric and acoustic bass – Kester smith: additional drums and percussion

Like Never Before  – released on Private Music
Appropriately titled Like Never Before opens up new trails with fresh original songs as well as some ol’ favorites like “Cakewalk into Town” & “Giant Step“.
Daryl Hall, John Oats, & Sheryl Crow join together for background vocals on “Don’t Call UsHoward Johnson, Dr. John and Hiram Bullock on a saucy version of “Cakewalk into Town” and on “Love UpPointer Sisters – background vocals.

VH1 artist of the Month – Along with recorded segments with Taj Mahal introducing new video’s; Taj’s video “Don’t Call Us” on rotation for the month of September 1991.

Black Entertainment TelevisionTaj Mahal special guest appearance promoting new album.

1991 Music Credits

  • Michelle Shocked – Arkansas Traveler: Guitar, Vocals
  • Ali Farka Toure – Source: Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar

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Zebrahead – Taj composed original musical score. This is a Romeo and Juliet type tale based in Detroit, Michigan. Two young men, Zack, a white teen accused of “acting black” and Dee, an African American teen, defy racial lines and form a strong friendship.

Smilin; Island of Song Taj Mahal & Cedella Marley-Booker
Join the Grandmother of Reggae Music on a musical journey through Jamaica, the island home of her beloved son Bob Marley. Taj lends his own unique blend of vocals and guitar to the rich Caribbean flavor.

Rising Sons, Featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder–  released on Sony records
Rising Sons was originally recorded between 1965 and 1966. In June of 1992, Taj added new  vocals to three instrumental tracks, “Dust My Broom”, “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”, and “Baby What You Want Me to Do”

Taj’s Blues  –   A “Best Of”  Taj’s work stretching back to the beginning.
Track Listing: Leaving Trunk, Statesboro Blues, Everybody’s Got to Change Sometime, Bound to Love Me some, Frankie and Albert, East Bay Woman, Dust My Broom, Corrina, Jellyroll, Fishin Blues, Sounder Medley, Country Blues #1.

1992 Music Credits

  • Cedella Marley-Booker – Smilin’ Island of Song: Guitar, Vocals, Producer
  • Rising Sons – Rising Sons Featuring Taj Mahal: Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Arranger, Vocals, Engineer
  • Various Artists – Child’s Celebration of Song: Vocals
  • Various Artists – Troubadours of the Folk Era: Vocals

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1993

World Music –  released on Sony Records
Track Listing: When I feel the Sea Beneath My Soul, My Ancestors, Slave driver, West Indian Revolution, Kalimba, Desperate Lover, Clara “St kitts Woman” Cajun Waltz, Roll, Turn, Spin, Johnny Too Bad, Brown Eyed Handsome Man, Black Jack Davey, Music Keeps Me Together.

Dancing The Blues – released on Private Music
First cd Taj records with members of The Phantom Blues Band.
From Fats Domino to Louis Jordan with Etta James on the classic “Mockingbird” along with a “slamming” band including Texacali Horns, Tony Braunagel, Chuck Domanico, Mick Weaver, Johnny Lee Schell, & Bill Payne & Ritchie Hayward from Little Feat.
Taj wanted people to know that the “Blues” can have a beat that makes ya wanta move your feet!

Performs at the First Inaugural Address Ceremony for President
 Bill Clinton

1994 Music Credits

  • Carly Simon – Letters Never Sent: Harmonica, Vocals

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1995

Performs at the White House Dinner Party

“Mumtaz Mahal” –  released on Water Lily Acoustics
Taj Mahal: Vocals/ Guitar, N. Ravikiran: Chitra Vna, V.M. Bhatt:
Mahan Vna
Track Listing: Coming of the Mandinka, Come On in My Kitchen, Rolling on the Sea, Mary Don’t You Weep, Stand By Me, Johnny Too Bad.

1995 Music Credits

  • Various Artists – Out on the Rolling Sea: Guitar, Vocals

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1996

An Evening of Acoustic Music  – released on Tradition and Moderne
“Here are a number of acoustic selections I am sure you will enjoy coming from my 1993 tour. Surprise is that Howard Johnson shows up to play tuba and penny whistle!” – Taj

Phantom Blues – released on Private Music
Personnel: Taj Mahal, Larry Fulcher, Johnny Lee Schell, Mick Weaver,
Jon Cleary, Joe Sublett, Darrell Leonard
Special guests include Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt.
Track Listing: Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes, Cheatin’ On You, The Hustle Is On, Here In The Dark, Fanning the Flames, I need your Loving, Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Lonely Avenue, Don’t Tell Me

Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored – Directed by Tim Reid
Cast: Taj Mahal, Isaac Hayes, Phylicia Rashad, Bernie Casey, Damon Hines
This film relates the story of a tightly connected Afro-American community informally called Colored Town where the inhabitants live and depend on each other in a world where racist oppression is everywhere, as told by a boy called Cliff who spent his childhood there.

1996 Music Credits

  • Alvin Youngblood Hart – Big Mama’s Door: Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals (background), Liner Notes
  • The Rolling Stones – Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus: Vocals
  • Bob Stewart – Then & Now: Guitar, Vocals
  • Various Artists – Children’s Celebration of Folk:
  • Various Artists – Big Blues: Blues Music for Kids:
  • Various Artists – Blue Gold: Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals

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1997

Follow the Drinking Gourd – Based on the traditional American folksong, this compelling tale recounts the daring adventures of one family’s escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad. Narration by Morgan Freeman, Music by Taj Mahal

Rosewood – Film directed by John Singleton
Starring Cast John Voight, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle
Cameo appearance Taj Mahal

Senor Blues – released on Private Music Grammy Award Winning!
Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band create a masterpiece of inspired
cover tunes and originals that weave a musical tapestry of chiming guitars, raucous piano, Memphis/New Orleans horn charts, Caribbean grooves, jazzy soul, percussive polyrhythms, and Taj’s blackstrap-molasses-over-buckwheat-cakes vocals, Senor Blues is world music in its most democratic sense. -Vibe Magazine, 6/24/97

1997 Music Credits

  • Morgan Freeman/Taj Mahal – Follow the Drinking Gourd: Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Arranger, Composer, Vocals, Producer
  • Joe Louis Walker – Great Guitars: Guitar, National Steel Guitar, Foot Stomping
  • Various Artists – House of Blues: Songs of Janis Joplin: Guitar, Vocals
  • Various Artists – Mandolin Blues: Guitar, Harmonica
  • Various Artists – Paint It Blue: Dobro, Vocals

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1998

Receives 1st Grammy Award for Senor Blues Best Contemporary Blues

“Hula Blues”   – Tradition and Moderne
This first cd with the Hula Blues band was a life long dream of Taj’s to perform, record Hawaiian music.
Personnel: Taj Mahal – Vocals, Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Pancho Graham – Acoustic bass, Background Vocals
Kester Smith – Drums Pat Crocket – Liliu Ukulele, Background Vocals
Micheal Barretto – Baritone Ukulele, Background Vocals
Wayne Jacintho – Tenor Ukulele, Background Vocals
Fred Lunt – Hawaiian Steel Guitar  Carlos Andrade – Tenor Ukulele, Slack Key Guitar, Background vocals
Rudy Costa – Tenor saxophone, Curved soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, kalimba, Piccolo flute, Clarinet, Background vocals

Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band perform in movie
6 Days and 7 Nights  starring Harrison Ford and Ann Heche

Outside Ozona – directed by J.S. Cardone
Taj’s character- DJ Dix Mayal
Starring Cast; Robert Forester, Kevin Pollack, Sherilyn Fenn, David Paymer, and Meat Loaf to name a few.

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Scrapple  – Directed by Christopher Hanson
An outstanding soundtrack that features the considerable talent of Taj Mahal, Bob Weir and Jorma Kaukonen, to name a few.

Shakin a Tail Feather –   released on Music for Little People
A wonderful children’s compilation cd including Taj Mahal, Linda Tillery, and Eric Bibb

In Progress and in Motion – 1965-1998   – released on Sony Records
Three cd box set spanning thirty three years of Taj’s musical biography,
14 previously unreleased versions of some of his classic tunes: Fishing Blues, Sweet Home Chicago (Pointer Sisters back-ground vocals) & M’Banjo just for starters. Plus Vintage Photos and excerpts from an interview with Taj done by David Ritz and Louise “Diji” Howard.

1998 Music Credits

  • Largo, Largo – : Dobro, Harmonica, Vocals, Barking
  • Mike Reilly/Mahal/Bishop… – Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed: Dobro, Vocals
  • Jimmy Rogers All-Stars – Blues, Blues, Blues: Harmonica, Vocals
  • The Rolling Stones – No Security: Vocals
  • Various Artists – Rock and Roll Doctor: Lowell George: Guitar
  • Various Artists – Big Blues Extravaganza: Guitar, Vocals
  • Various Artists – Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf: Harmonica, Vocals

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1999

Blue Light Boogie  – Best of Private Music
Daryl Hall; John Oates; Sheryl Crow; James Brown; John Popper; Hiram Bullock
“Kulanjan” with Toumanie Diabate’
The connections between the blues and West African music are well known, however, Kulanjan express this truth through it’s own unique rhythm, sound and spirit. Track Listing: Queen Bee, Tunkaranke, Ol’ Georgie Buck, Kulanjan, Fanta Sacko, Guede man Na, Catfish blues, K’an Ben, take this hammer, Atlanta Kaira,
Mississippi – Mali Blues, Sahara

1999 Music Credits

  • Etta Baker – Railroad Bill: Liner Notes
  • Marty Grebb – Smooth Sailin’: Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
  • Algia Mae Hinton – Honey Babe: Bass (Upright)
  • John Dee Holeman – Bull Durham Blues: Bass, Guitar, Piano, Creative Consultant, Hambone
  • Leftover Salmon – Nashville Sessions: Dobro, Vocals
  • Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers – Spirit of Music: Harmonica
  • Neal Pattman – Prison Blues: Banjo, Bass, Piano
  • Cootie Stark – Sugar Man: Mandolin
  • Original Soundtrack – Scrapple: Banjo, Dobro, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Mandola
  • Various Artists – Hippity Hop: Vocals
  • Various Artists – This Ain’t No Tribute Blues: Dobro, Guitar,Harmonica, Vocals, Liner Notes, Photography

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2000

Best Of Taj Mahal – released on Sony Records
Re -mastered – Remixed first time on CD:
1.Statesboro Blues 2. Leaving Trunk 3. Corinna4. Mailbox Blues
5. She Caught The Katy 6. Giant Step 7. Six Days On The Road
8. Further On Down The Road 9. Fishing Blues10. Ain’t Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo’) (Live) 11. You’re Going To Need Somebody On Your Bond (Live)
12. Cakewalk Into Town  13. Oh Susanna14. Frankie And Albert
15. Chevrolet 16. Johnny Too Bad 17. Sweet Mama Janisse (previously unreleased version)

“Songcatcher”  – directed by Maggie Greenwald
Taj plays the role of  Dexter Speaks, a source of folk music from generations before.
“Blues Brothers 2000” – cameo appearance as Tow Truck driver

Shoutin’ In Key (Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band) [Live]
“Shoutin’” netted Taj and the Phantom Blues Band their second Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album
Recorded Live at The Mint in Los Angeles, CA.

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2000 Music Credits

  • Penni Walli – Return of Penni Walli: Voices, Orchestration
  • Original Cast Recording – It Ain’t Nothin But the Blues: Harmonica, Vocals, Narrator
  • Various Artists – Blue Haze: Songs of Jimi Hendrix: Guitar, Vocals

Billboard Charts

1996 Phantom Blues Top Blues Albums No. 3
1997 Phantom Blues Top Blues Albums No. 9
1997 Senor Blues Top Blues Albums No. 4
1998 In Progress… Top Blues Albums No. 12
1998 Sacred Island Top Blues Albums No. 5
1999 1999 Blue Light Boogie Top Blues Albums No. 10
1999 Kulanjan Top World Music Albums No. 7
2000 Private Years -The Best Of Taj Mahal Top Blues Albums No. 15
2000 Shoutin’ In Key -Live Top Blues Albums No. 12

Taj House of Blues1990

Taj Appears In

1990 Brer Rabbit [anim]
Composer (Music Score)

1991 Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey [movie]
Actor: Gatekeeper

1991 Jazz at Ronnie’s [doc]
Performer

1992 Zebrahead [movie]
Composer of musical score

1996 Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored [movie]
Actor

1996 The Rolling Stones: Rock and Roll Circus [musical]
Performer

1997 Rose Wood [movie]
Composer of musical score

1998 6 Days and 7 Nights [movie]
Lead singer of band at hotel

1998 Outside Ozona [movie]
Actor / Composer of musical score

199? Fame: L.A. [TV]
Actor

2000 Songcatcher [movie]