Abu Talib (born as Fred Leroy Robinson and previously known as Freddie or Freddy Robinson; February 24, 1939 - October 8, 2009) was an African American blues and jazz guitarist, singer, and harmonica player.

Career

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, he was raised in Arkansas and moved to Chicago in 1956. Inspired as a guitarist by Joe Willie Wilkins, he first recorded that year, backing harmonica player Birmingham Jones. In 1958, he began touring with Little Walter, and after seeing a jazz band perform was inspired to learn music formally at the Chicago School of Music. He also began working with Howlin' Wolf, recording with him such notable blues classics as "Spoonful", "Back Door Man" and "Wang Dang Doodle". In the mid-1960s, he played with R&B singers Jerry Butler and Syl Johnson, before joining Ray Charles' band in Los Angeles. While there, he recorded the instrumental "Black Fox", which became a minor pop hit reaching #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 and # 29 on the R&B chart.

In the early 1970s, he worked with English blues bandleader John Mayall, playing on the album Jazz Blues Fusion, and recorded LPs with trumpeter Blue Mitchell. He also recorded two albums in his own name - At The Drive In and Off The Cuff, on which he was supported by Joe Sample and Wilton Felder of the Crusaders - for Enterprise, a subsidiary of Stax Records. He also worked with Earl Gaines and Jimmy Rogers in the 1950s and 1960s, Monk Higgins and Stanley Turrentine in the 1970s, and Bobby Bland in the 1980s. In addition to his studio and touring collaborations, Talib also recorded solo, re-emerging in 1994 with an album of his own compositions, The Real Thing at Last.

Personal life

Talib converted to Islam in 1975 and changed his name to Abu Talib. After his first wife died, Talib remarried and fathered seven children in his two marriages. Talib died of cancer in Lancaster, California in October, 2009.