Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
rob + = email

2024 February 12 • Monday

Happy birthday!

Taj Mahal's music for Brothers is the 817th Soundtrack of the Week.

It starts with the sensuous and bluesy 6/8 "Love Song in the Key of D", which features steel drum as well as other percussion and drum set along with sax, bass, guitar etc. Taj Mahal sings "Love me like the river / Love me like the wind".

Then there's "Funky Butt", that has a solid groove and a funk feel in the bass part but is otherwise a pretty straight up and down and sunny sort of song that tells a story and has a lot of steel drum action. "Ain't no doubt about it."

"Brothers Doin' Time" is a swaying and silky smooth song with Taj Mahal singing and playing some tasty guitar lines as well. Again the steel drum adds a lot.

Side One concludes with "Night Rider", which flirts with disco a bit but has some unexpected changes of tempo and feel and, of course, Mahal's plaintive and soulful singing.

The second side starts with "Free the Brothers", a long track with layered percussion grooves and a few vocalists chanting the title in unison.

Then comes "Sentidos Dulce (Sweet Feelings)", a slinky groove instrumental featuring the alto saxophone.

"The Funeral March" doesn't actually sound much like a funeral march but is a soul piano piece with some really deep pocket playing from the rhythm section.

After that comes "Malcolm's Song", a slow 6/8 piece a bit similar to "Love Song in the Key of D", but instrumental, with alto sax as the main voice and ample support from the steel drum.

Things wrap up with "David and Angela", a beautiful instrumental piece that features not just the steel drum but also the kalimba. It's a lovely, swaying, relaxing and pretty track and ends the record on a very positive note.