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Love & Death
Double Vinyl, Gatefold
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Love & Death
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Vinyl, November 2, 2010
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Strut link up with one of the true greats of Ghanaian music, Ebo Taylor, for his first internationally released new studio album in over 20 years. Following the wartime big band highlife pioneers like E.T. Mensah, Taylor became a major figure in Ghanaian highlife during the 1950s and ,60s as highlife exploded. Cutting his teeth with leading big bands like Stargazers and Broadway Dance Band, Ebo Taylor quickly rose through the ranks and became a prolific composer and frontman. "There weren't many composers in those days for the big bands," remembers Taylor. "The composers were in demand - the bands were large and the scores were very involved." Taylor moved to London in 1962. "Those were the days we were all into jazz, me and Nigerians like Peter King and Fela Kuti we wanted to play like Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell. I had the Black Star Highlife Band sponsored by the Ghanaian High Commission, mainly comprising music students. We tried to incorporate jazz into highlife and progressed through talking and through jam sessions, trying to develop our skills and ideas. We'd sing about politics and situations - like how cold London's weather was!"
Interest in Ebo Taylor's music has grown in recent years with a series of Ghanaian compilations on Soundway Records and Analog Africa and an unexpected sample as Usher lifted a riff from ,Heaven' for his hit ,She Don't Know'. A new Ebo Taylor album was a natural progression. "For new album, I wanted to advance the cause of Afrobeat music. Fela started it and we shouldn't just abandon it. We should push it so it is a standard form of music. I selected a few old songs and composed 3 or 4 new ones." The "I am very happy with the results," Taylor reflects. "I hope this will help to bring Afrobeat to a whole new legion of fans."
Top customer reviews
Ebo takes his time to lay down a groove that just grows and grows..it is big, filled with both light and dark...leaves me wanting to just play it again.
Darkness and Light, Love and death...may the cycle continue.
I have a few of his Albums, but this is my number one.
more than solid backing from The Afrobeat Academy, consisting
of members from The Poets Of Rhythm, Kabu Kabu and Marijata, a band
that played in Ghana around the same time as Taylor.
This is beautiful, uplifting stuff packed with smoking grooves, and
shows that he hasn't lost the spark at all.
Man, if I am half this funky going into my seventies they better
hammer some extra nails in my coffin when they bury me, or else
I am going to shake my bony ass so hard the lid is coming off!
Ebo was a productive composer, producer and guitarist in the
seventies and a major musical force in Ghana. He studied music
in London at the same time as Fela, and the four opening tracks
is afrobeat of the fattest order. With "African Woman", in particular,
sounding like a homage to Fela Kuti.
Strut have just released "Life Stories - Highlife and Afrobeat Classics
1973 - 1980", a kick-ass reissue, highlighting his solo albums and
collaborations with other musicians.