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  WaterLily Acoustics -
  Taj Mahal, V.M. Bhatt, N. Ravikiran: Mumtaz Mahal
  "Mumtaz Mahal"

Taj Mahal
V.M. Bhatt
N. Ravikiran
Track listing:
  1. Coming of the Mandinka
2. Come On in My Kitchen
3. Rolling on the Sea
4. Mary Don't You Weep
5. Stand by Me
6. Johnny Too Bad
7. Curry and Quartertones
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Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 1

Review by Turin February 24, 2013 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is another outstanding recording from Water Lily Acoustics. The sound is rich and full. The dynamics border on mystical. Although the performances are very good, there is a pacing problem in the track selection. I don't know if they intended all the songs to sound the same, but that's how it plays. Taj Mahal is a dynamic singer and a master song smith and although here his voice is clear and pure, there is little range or bluesy overtone to it. All the songs are slow, contemplative, and seem to be in the same key. It's beautiful for about 2 tracks, then it becomes plodding & ponderous. I was hoping to hear more of his bombastic and soulful baritone mixed in with the eastern influence, but it's more the other way around. His voice is tamed and his characteristic inflections are absent in this recording.

The last track "Curry & Quartertones" has some dialogue between Taj Mahal, Ravikiran, & Bhatt that perhaps explains the album's subdued nature. It's mostly Mahal talking about quarter-tones and how western listeners do not hear them or appreciate them. Perhaps that was the goal with this recording; to show case them in American style blues? They are certainly evident in track 2 "Come on in My Kitchen"; a beautiful rendition that illustrates the crossover of American Blues and Indian traditional music. But the entire album does not have a single toe-tapping, hip swaying, tongue gyrating, moment. In that sense it was a bit of a disappointment. More of Taj Mahal's natural bubbling vocal style would have turned a good disc, into an awesome one. It's still a good listen! But I recommend you listen in 2 track spurts for meditations, rather than 40 minute boogie trances.....

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