The Poor Man’s Version of Paul Horn’s ‘Inside the Taj Mahal’

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My longtime friend Bob Ramirez is one of the best custom home builders in Los Angeles. I was fortunate enough to have him design and build my first home in Venice years ago.

Bob traveled around the world for something like seven years, working odd jobs as he made his way throughout South America. From Rio, he captained a small sailboat down to Cape Town and then traveled all over Africa. He eventually made his way over to Iran before the revolution and visited countless other countries. It was a colossal trip, to say the least.

I met Bob back in 1988, during a Dori Caymmi concert at an upstairs club on Ventura Boulevard. Like me, Bob has always had very broad musical taste. On his first visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, he loaded up his walkman with a cassette tape of flutist Paul Horn’s recording of Inside the Taj Mahal. When he got there, the guard at the entrance told him that the shrine was closed for the day. Bob remonstrated that he had traveled halfway around the world with his Paul Horn cassette to experience the Taj Mahal in full. The guard’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Oh! I was there when he recorded it, but I never heard the recording!” Together, they went inside for a private tour with none other than Paul Horn as musical accompaniment.

Inspired by Bob’s musical exploits, I decided to do my own “poor man’s version of Paul Horn” in the parking garage of my building. I’ve long been a Paul Horn fan myself, so I recorded this little improvisation along with my flute instructor, Joe Nazzaretta in the bowels of my garage. It’s less than three minutes long. I play the first part, and then you’ll hear Joe join in.

Taj Mahal photo (top) by Asitjain – Wikimedia Commons – CC BY-SA 3.0