Taj Mahal | Artist
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Henry Saint Clair Fredericks aka Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician, singer-songwriter and film composer born 1942 in Harlem, New York City. Coming from a musical family background, with afro-American and Caribbean heritage, Mahal developed an early interest in African music, which he studied assiduously as a young man. His parents encouraged him to pursue music, starting him out with classical piano lessons, then the clarinet, trombone and harmonica. Taj moved to California in 1964 and formed the band Rising Sons with fellow blues players Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid. They released only one album before Taj embarked on a long and successful solo career playing a blend of country Blues and Afro-Caribbean styles. Over his career Taj Mahal has released 40 studio albums. He set the bar high with his first three superb albums; Taj mahal (1968), The Natch'l Blues (1968) and Giant Step / De Old Folks at Home (1969). Other standouts include Happy Just to be Like I Am, Mo' Roots, Music Fuh Ya, The Real Thing (live), and Senor Blues, for which he won Best Contemporary Blues Album at the Grammy Awards. Taj Mahal also appeared in and performed the soundtrack music for the 1972 movie "Sounder". Although Mahal started out as a traditional blues musician, over time he incorporated more and more African roots music into his musical palette, embracing elements of reggae, calypso, jazz, zydeco, R&B, gospel music, and the country blues—each of which having "served as the foundation of his unique sound. Taj Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his more than 50-year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Hawaii, and the South Pacific.
Artist Website: tajblues.com
Featured Albums: Taj Mahal
Related Artists: Rising Sons