It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Los Cenzontles With David Hidalgo & Taj Mahal

One of the most prominent figures in late 20th century blues, singer/multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal played an enormous role in revitalizing and preserving traditional acoustic blues. Not content to stay within that realm, Mahal soon broadened his approach, taking a musicologist's interest in a multitude of folk and roots music from around the world -- reggae and other Caribbean folk, jazz, gospel, R&B, zydeco, various West African styles, Latin, even Hawaiian. The African-derived heritage of most of those forms allowed Mahal to explore his own ethnicity from a global perspective and to present the blues as part of a wider musical context. Yet while he dabbled in many different genres, he never strayed too far from his laid-back country blues foundation. Blues purists naturally didn't have much use for Mahal's music, and according to some of his other detractors, his multi-ethnic fusions sometimes came off as indulgent, or overly self-conscious and academic. Still, Mahal's concept was vindicated in the '90s, when a cadre of young bluesmen began to follow his lead -- both acoustic revivalists (Keb' Mo', Guy Davis) and eclectic bohemians (Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart).

Taj Mahal was born Henry St. Clair Fredericks in New York on May 17, 1942. His parents -- his father a jazz pianist/composer/arranger of Jamaican descent, his mother a schoolteacher from South Carolina who sang gospel -- moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, when he was quite young, and while growing up there, he often listened to music from around the world on his father's short-wave radio. He particularly loved the blues -- both acoustic and electric -- and early rock & rollers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. While studying agriculture and animal husbandry at the University of Massachusetts, he adopted the musical alias Taj Mahal (an idea that came to him in a dream) and formed Taj Mahal & the Elektras, who played around the area during the early '60s. After graduating, Mahal moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and, after making his name on the local folk-blues scene, formed the Rising Sons with guitarist Ry Cooder. The group signed to Columbia and released one single, but the label didn't quite know what to make of their forward-looking blend of Americana, which anticipated a number of roots rock fusions that would take shape in the next few years; as such, the album they recorded sat on the shelves, unreleased until 1992.

Frustrated, Mahal left the group and wound up staying with Columbia as a solo artist. His self-titled debut was released in early 1968 and its stripped-down approach to vintage blues sounds made it unlike virtually anything else on the blues scene at the time. It came to be regarded as a classic of the '60s blues revival, as did its follow-up, Natch'l Blues. The half-electric, half-acoustic double-LP set Giant Step followed in 1969, and taken together, those three records built Mahal's reputation as an authentic yet unique modern-day bluesman, gaining wide exposure and leading to collaborations or tours with a wide variety of prominent rockers and bluesmen. During the early '70s, Mahal's musical adventurousness began to take hold; 1971's Happy Just to Be Like I Am heralded his fascination with Caribbean rhythms and the following year's double-live set, The Real Thing, added a New Orleans-flavored tuba section to several tunes. In 1973, Mahal branched out into movie soundtrack work with his compositions for Sounder, and the following year he recorded his most reggae-heavy outing, Mo' Roots.

Mahal continued to record for Columbia through 1976, upon which point he switched to Warner Bros.; he recorded three albums for that label, all in 1977 (including a soundtrack for the film Brothers). Changing musical climates, however, were decreasing interest in Mahal's work and he spent much of the '80s off record, eventually moving to Hawaii to immerse himself in another musical tradition. Mahal returned in 1987 with Taj, an album issued by Gramavision that explored this new interest; the following year, he inaugurated a string of successful, well-received children's albums with Shake Sugaree. The next few years brought a variety of side projects, including a musical score for the lost Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play Mule Bone that earned Mahal a Grammy nomination in 1991.

The same year marked Mahal's full-fledged return to regular recording and touring, kicked off with the first of a series of well-received albums on the Private Music label, Like Never Before. Follow-ups, such as Dancing the Blues (1993) and Phantom Blues (1996), drifted into more rock, pop, and R&B-flavored territory; in 1997, Mahal won a Grammy for Señor Blues. Meanwhile, he undertook a number of small-label side projects that constituted some of his most ambitious forays into world music. Released in 1995, Mumtaz Mahal teamed him with classical Indian musicians; 1998's Sacred Island was recorded with his new Hula Blues Band, exploring Hawaiian music in greater depth; 1999's Kulanjan was a duo performance with Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté. Maestro appeared in 2008, boasting an array of all-star guests: Diabaté, Angélique Kidjo, Ziggy Marley, Los Lobos, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[71, 123, 65, 93, 78, 82, 83, 66, 77, 74, 74, 108, 103, 118, 66, 127, 108, 66, 75, 122, 111, 121, 111, 89, 65, 106, 94, 93, 84, 107, 69, 113, 90, 101, 66, 72, 80, 94, 94, 107, 126, 84, 119, 103, 77, 117, 81, 114, 101, 64, 122, 85, 68, 117, 81, 95, 89, 93, 69, 76, 73, 86, 120, 116, 82, 126, 109, 108, 64, 78, 118, 111, 70, 96, 88, 82, 122, 122, 76, 85, 91, 70, 118, 71, 113, 86, 65, 72, 84, 87, 89, 74, 118, 109, 124, 118, 64, 88, 72, 89, 85, 94, 100, 76, 93, 71, 119, 82, 89, 70, 92, 70, 97, 79, 124, 108, 125, 73, 98, 114, 81, 69, 73, 103, 93, 85, 80, 93, 106, 114, 82, 84, 91, 71, 84, 64, 80, 67, 117, 88, 78, 99, 113, 67, 106, 106, 106, 93, 116, 90, 123, 86, 93, 64, 118, 116, 103, 107, 78, 103, 84, 91, 116, 77, 105, 114, 126, 82, 118, 114, 120, 97, 66, 116, 127, 119, 73, 110, 100, 68, 80, 122, 91, 70, 115, 94, 121, 119, 96, 102, 64, 70, 81, 85, 100, 122, 126, 66, 75, 116, 113, 89, 80, 70, 98, 77, 118, 77, 74, 64, 106, 112, 76, 127, 118, 99, 123, 71, 102, 80, 109, 80, 117, 88, 90, 109, 124, 76, 91, 107, 111, 108, 74, 115, 98, 79, 80, 116, 127, 123, 105, 96, 67, 73, 73, 111, 83, 99, 74, 108, 108, 86, 90, 122, 121, 96, 117, 94, 64, 77, 117, 97, 124, 100, 77, 118, 125, 84, 81, 111, 114, 75, 88, 75, 102, 67, 94, 64, 126, 76, 113, 69, 108, 102, 91, 70, 78, 83, 102, 100, 100, 79, 107, 74, 116, 119, 83, 120, 73, 89, 109, 119, 89, 84, 112, 99, 101, 114, 119, 106, 71, 64, 118, 119, 117, 118, 99, 109, 125, 101, 98, 87, 122, 72, 89, 86, 65, 101, 65, 120, 77, 67, 68, 121, 98, 69, 108, 106, 94, 89, 99, 100, 65, 64, 110, 121, 118, 79, 114, 95, 115, 109, 88, 118, 93, 67, 105, 83, 127, 74, 112, 76, 84, 127, 97, 119, 97, 78, 75, 68, 116, 93, 114, 122, 86, 126, 121, 103, 75, 82, 124, 91, 118, 75, 124, 65, 74, 120, 66, 103, 101, 117, 87, 121, 117, 68, 118, 65, 71, 97, 66, 81, 68, 116, 126, 81, 84, 102, 97, 80, 78, 89, 66, 94, 94, 96, 96, 127, 115, 125, 118, 67, 123, 75, 89, 106, 104, 78, 93, 71, 99, 84, 81, 68, 108, 118, 64, 122, 81, 119, 90, 115, 123, 112, 66, 80, 108, 76, 85, 77, 64, 90, 74, 67, 121, 127, 76, 83, 75, 106, 68, 66, 90, 88, 108, 88, 127, 103, 95, 121, 72, 82, 97, 121, 87, 102, 97, 69, 97, 124, 89, 101, 76, 124, 70, 69, 103, 91, 111, 109, 108, 64, 86, 124, 101, 81, 64, 70, 92, 107, 125, 95, 80, 89, 76, 92, 110, 113, 104, 126, 122, 124]