Saturday, December 19, 2015

Not Stocks, Boats: Taj Mahal and The Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar with "Dhow Countries"

Today's random tune is by an American blues legend teamed with an African orchestra. Taj Mahal is the performing name of Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, a blues musician who often incorporates elements of world music into his music. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica), he has reshaped blues by combining it with nontraditional forms from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific. The Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar is one of the largest, most successful and most prolific of African orchestras. It began life as an extension of an independence party of the now semi-autonomous province of Zanzibar in Tanzania. They are known for their presentation of Swahili Taarab music. As such this song, called Dhow Countries, has a nice slow groove to it. You can find Dhow Countries on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: African Blues (2012).

Mike would like to dedicate this song to his mother, Shirley Hess, who suffers from Alzheimers. It is her birthday today. Happy birthday, mom!