Boomkat Product Review:
Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor, with accompaniment from Berlin's Afrobeat Academy.
"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. [...] Through the mid-'70s and into the '80s, Taylor then recorded a number of solo projects, exploring unique fusions and borrowing elements from traditional Ghanaian sounds, Fela's Afrobeat, jazz, soul and funk.
Tracks like 'Heaven' now stand as among the best Ghanaian Afrobeat of the era. 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 with Ludacris, '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."
The result is a firing new set backed by Afrobeat Academy, a Berlin-based collective of international musicians. Tracks include new versions of Taylor classics 'Victory' and 'Love And Death' and a selection of new compositions including 'Kwame', celebrating Ghana's late, lamented leader Kwame Nkrumah."