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Since the late-’60s, Taj Mahal has established himself as one of the foremost interpreters of blues and roots music. Whether he’s helming a full band or alone with just a guitar or banjo, Taj masterfully evokes the spirit of his blues forebears, many of whom he had the opportunity to study up close. On Savoy, his latest project, Taj puts his instantly recognizable bear hug of a voice to a collection of jazz and pop standards that date back to an era when swing was king and Louis Jordan and Duke Ellington could be heard on neighborhood jukeboxes. Here’s a selection of songs that showcase his brilliance as an interpreter and updater of the blues tradition.
Featured photo by Jay Blakesberg.