This album isn’t really considered a masterpiece by most fans but I cherish this recording—it often shows up on my desert island list. For many years this was only one of two early Taj records available on cd so I wore out a few copies since then and I am still waiting on a proper reissue of both on cd (the other being Mo Roots). It is fair to say that Giant Step wouldn’t have been the album I would have gravitated toward had more of his catalog been available in the 1990s, as it has no immediate hook (I would have probably worn out Natch’l Blues or the debut instead). Upon first listen I can’t say any tracks stood out to me—perhaps Fishin’ Blues made the most impact. But as it turned out, this being about all you could get of early, non-best-of compilation Taj, it got played a lot and as a result became my favorite of all his records.
This album sort of stands on its own, not sounding exactly like his earlier, more bluesy records nor the reggae-world-caribbean albums that followed. But its got a little funk, a good bit of country-blues, and a lot of laid back rock ‘n’ roll typical of the stuff being made in Southern California in the late 60s/early 70s. And if you’re a Jesse Ed fan this recording is a real treat.