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Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   

 

The Allen Room with its large stage set against a spectacular wall of windows overlooking Columbus Circle and the New York skyline provided the perfect background for Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band as they set about to create a bit of blues magic. Performing two shows nightly on April 19, 2012 and April 20, 2012, we had the good fortune to catch the first show on April 20, 2012.

Taj Mahal took to the stage wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt and fedora, joined by band members Mick Weaver - keyboards, Larry Fulcher - electric bass and backing vocals, Johnny Lee Schell - guitar and backing vocals, Darrell Leonard - trumpet, Joe Sublett - saxophone, and Tony Braunagel - drums, who set to thrill from the opening riffs of the first song.

Taj Mahal - Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center
Taj Mahal
  Photo by Frank Steward/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Longtime Taj Mahal fans, it was fantastic to watch and hear the maestro in action, especially when the band followed up the first song up with Diddy Wah Diddy, written by Willie Dixon and Elias McDaniel, off the Taj Mahal Maestro release.

The band next segued into the song Chevrolet, with lyrics "buy me a Chevrolet" with Taj singing and playing harmonica; followed by the song, Queen Bee, with Taj on guitar singing about his "sweet little honey, my Queen Bee."

A consummate performer who knows how to engage his audience, when a band member removed his sports jacket and the band played a striptease riff, Taj joked that they needed to have that type of music at airport security, creating a ripple of laughter and agreement from the audience.

Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band - Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center
Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band
Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

The song Señor Blues followed, with Taj singing and dancing, and a nice trumpet solo by Darrell Leonard, which was followed by the foot stomping blues song, Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue.

Next in the line-up, was the Delroy Wilson song, Rain From The Skies with Taj joined by special guest, daughter Deva Mahal, singing duets, "Ever since you went away, Every day, It's just a cloudy day, And I don't know, If it's rain from the skies, Tears from my eyes, Fallin' on-a my face, And rollin' down my cheek ... all I know is that I love you ..."

Taj gave a heartfelt shout-out to mentor and musician, Billy Nichols, who was sitting in the front row, and then continued with the song, Cakewalk Into Town with Taj singing and playing the harmonica.

The slow and seductive, Annie Mae followed in the play list with Taj on guitar, and blazing horn work by Darrell Leonard and Joe Sublett, with the lyrics imploring, "Annie Mae, honey, can't you hear big daddy calling you..." followed by Farther On Down The Road, which picked up the pace with Taj singing vocals and playing the harmonica.

Taj Mahal - Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center
Taj Mahal at the Microphone
Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Next, came the T-Bone Walker song, Here in the Dark; followed by Mr. Pitiful, the last song of the set, with a great drum solo by Tony Braunagel, which resulted in a standing ovation and the audience asking for just a little more time with Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band.

For the encore, Taj called Deva back on stage to join him in the song, Lovin' In My Baby's Eyes, which he called "the wedding song," and stated that Deva was the inspiration for the song that he wrote when she was around 2 years of age.

It was the perfect close to a most memorable evening hearing Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band perform at The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is located on the fifth floor of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Frederick P. Rose Hall, and has three distinct venues: the Rose Theatre (1,200 seats), The Allen Room (490 seats), and Dizzy's Club (140 seats).

Regarding upcoming performances at The Allen Room, Rose Theatre, or Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, please visit their website: www.JALC.com.

Tickets may be purchased by calling CenterCharge at +1-212-721-6500, which is open daily from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm, or may be purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, located on Broadway at 60th Street, on the ground floor. Box Office hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm (or 30 minutes past curtain) and Sunday from noon until 6:00 pm (or 30 minutes past curtain).

Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York - Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center
Photo by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Broadway at 60th Street, 5th floor
New York
, New York
United States
Telephone:      +1-212-258-9800
Website:          www.JALC.org
Facebook:        www.Facebook.com/JazzatLincolnCenter  

© April 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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