on 21 April 2011
Ebo Taylor studied music in London at the same time as Fela, and spent most
weekends at his house. Last year's "Love & Death" was a straightforward
afrobeat affair, and smoking proof that the man hasn't lost the spark.
The title track and "Victory" were reworkings of old material, with
supersolid backing by members of The Afrobeat Academy in Berlin, from
musicians that for the most part have cut their teeth on Fela.
Parts of "Love & Death" sounded like Ebo was paying homage to Fela, but as
these earlier recordings show, Ebo Taylor is no copycat.
"Sometimes people would say - your music sound like Fela, is it imitation?"
And I say no. We are coming from the same source, so naturally there will
be similarities. I'm not abandoning highlife. I'm trying to follow up the
development of the extraction of afrorock and funk or afrobeat, or whatever
you call it, to perpetuate its existence"
Ebo Taylor(From the liner notes by Jon Lusk)
Ebo has a distinct groove of his own, and is a more mellow fellow than Fela,
both musically and lyrically. The groove is not that highly charged, and the
highlife sounds more significant.
As there have been a lot of great Ebo tracks on the Ghana Soundz and Afrobeat
Airways compilations, I was hoping that someone would reissue more of his
recordings, and Strut have really done a kick-ass number with "Life Stories",
highlighting both his solo albums and collaborations with others.
Disc One opens with "Heaven", "Atwer Abroba" and "Victory", three classics
in a row. When I saw the tracklisting for the first time I wondered if they
intended to blow all the explosives at the start, but the whole compilation is
an even affair, and the quality runs through both discs.
Highlites include "Heaven", "Atwer Abroba", "Victory", "Tamfo Nyi Ekyir",
"Love And Death", "Ohye Atar Gyan", "Etuei" and "Egya Edu". And the some.
on 27 November 2012
This collection of Ghanian guitarist and compositor "Ebo Taylor" is a bible. Once you'd opened it, you have learned what's afrobeat, what's African 70's music.
The magic of Taylor's works is unbelievable, it's touching ater very first seconds of every track. The richness of African percussions, deep and delicate electric bass, gentle guitar, distinct, leading horns sounds, oldschool electric organ/piano and mystic Afro-voices - it's all is so mature, so far from all the pop/rock music we hear each day.
They're also clearly different from repeatable songs by Fela Kuti, though they're still very trance-like and surround you with a deep, rich African sound.
Listen to "Atwer Abroba" - you'll immediately know what I'm talking about.