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Mumtaz Mahal

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Taj Mahal, Narasimhan RavikiranAudio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $17.30 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2012 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1995 $17.30  

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View the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Coming Of The Mandinka 5:13Album Only
listen  2. Come On In My Kitchen11:34Album Only
listen  3. Rolling On The Sea 5:01Album Only
listen  4. Mary Don't You Weep 6:44Album Only
listen  5. Stand By Me 7:02Album Only
listen  6. Johnny Too Bad 5:49Album Only
listen  7. Curry And Quartertones 2:45Album Only

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Mumtaz Mahal + A Meeting by the River
Price for both: $33.73

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Water Lily Acoustics
  • ASIN: B000002VYL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Vocalist/guitarist Taj Mahal, a repository of the musical traditions of the West African Diaspora in the New World, teams with Hindustani wizard of the mohan vina, V. M. Bhatt and Karnatak virtuoso of the chitra vina, N. Ravikiran. Their interpretation of popular Afro-American songs drawn from various genres is a unique musical synthesis.

In 1992, producer Kavichandran Alexander recorded California bottleneck guitarist Ry Cooder and North Indian classical musician Bhatt in a Santa Barbara church, and the resulting A Meeting by the River won a 1994 Grammy. Here, Alexander returns to the church with Bhatt and Cooder's old bandmate, Taj Mahal, a blues musician who named himself after the most famous mausoleum in India. Bhatt, a Ravi Shankar student, plays the mohan vina, an instrument he invented to combine the timbre of the arched-top American jazz guitar with the sympathetic strings of the Indian sitar. Ravikiran plays the chitra vina, perhaps the world's oldest slide instrument; Mahal plays National steel guitar and adds moaning scat vocals. With their sliding pitches, all three instruments find the notes between the notes of traditional Western scales, and the three players find a common ground in the religious/sexual cries that skid through scales. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Mahaler May 19, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who was intrigued by _Kulanjan_ will find this album of interest too; it's another exploration by Taj Mahal of how his music intersects and interlocks with that of another culture, in this case, Indian. Throughout the album, the music is understated but definitely stands up well under repeat listens - especially the 11-minute-plus version of Robert Johnson's "Come on in my kitchen".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues Ragas? April 11, 2013
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
This is a powerful album, elemental and expressive. What it is not, really, is a collection of songs. The pieces strike me more as ragas, and by that I mean an establishment of a particular mood with an emphasis on a small, repeated sequence (sometimes chord progressions rather than individual notes). The arrangements tend to amount to Mr. Mahal playing and singing with the mohan vina following with his guitar and the chitra vina echoing his vocals.

Most of the tracks are meditations on a particular snippet or phrase, some of which (at least) are from Taj Mahal's earlier songs. The only thing approaching an actual song structure is his cover of "Stand By Me", but the song is rendered slowly and loosely with such a minute attention to each detail that it ends up being very similar to the other pieces, even if it instantly recognizable. This rendition uses its ponderousness to heighten the harmonic tension (waiting for that next chord you know is coming...!) as it strays somewhat afield from what is a well-known and beloved, but rather by-the-numbers standard and is a really fresh take on a song covered by many artists.

The sound production is very good, the music is extremely clear and crisp, and Taj Mahal's vocals sound great. His singing on those tracks that have vocals is much more expressive and emotional than on most of his songs, because the format of the performances leaves huge wide open spaces for him to explore each phrase over and over, especially in the aforementioned "Stand By Me", "Rolling On The Sea", and my personal favorite, "Mary Don't You Weep", which expounds upon a phrase about Moses parting the Red Sea heard on "Linin' Track" from "De Old Folks At Home", another intimate and personal album from Taj Mahal that I love.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Dave P.
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
the passion heard in the selections nearly brings me to tears inside. for some reason this collaboration hits me right to the center of my heart and soul--like a type of music i've been waiting for and finally found. maybe there is a previously unreleased version of "Amazing Grace" that will show up on a later digitally remastered disc. if only we could know what other songs they had considered incorporating.'s that Good ! Gospel-Blues-Reggae,it's all here for the taking. Cherish the moment over and over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Cool, Really Unique, Really Good July 11, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Wasn't planning writing this review, but I happened to see the "star" rating for this album. I think "Mumtaz Mahal" is really, really unique and totally primo. I was so surprised at how low the "star" rating was that I stopped to read the reviews. I'm writing this review because I really didn't want folks who don't have this recording yet to be turned off by either how few reviews have been posted, or by the fact that there were several negative reviews. My guess is that some of the negativity may be a consequence of the fact that the music on "Mumtaz Mahal" is really unique: It would be really different than the music most people have heard because it just plain IS really different from any other music.

Some folks want consistency and familiarity; other folks want new experiences and originality. McDonald's isn't successful because it is good. McDonald's is successful because they have done a good job of very consistently making mediocre food. People know exactly what they will be getting: They have had it before and they know they will be get pretty much exactly the same thing every time they go there. Lots of people like McDonald's simply for that reason. I've asked a bunch of people who eat at McDonald's if they like the food. The responses were pretty consistent--basically "It's O.K." They ate there because they like the fact that McDonald's is a known and familiar thing rather than something they really liked.

But, there are people who will stop at completely unknown restaurants knowing full well that the food will likely be unfamiliar and that it could just as easily be bad as good--that is O.K. because it beats the hell out of stopping at McDonald's and getting the same old boring, mediocre stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 30, 2014
By hman
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another beautiful collaboration by Taj...i love the blend
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