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16 Apr 12
Review: Following last year's long overdue 'best of' collection, Ghanaian highlife guitar legend Ebo Taylor returns to Strut with a brand new full-length. Named after a landmark in his hometown, Appia Kwa Bridge features both Tony Allen and Berlin-based band Afrobeat Academy. With Taylor's sweet guitar solos and emotive vocals to the fore, it's a thoroughly enjoyable set. The songs and grooves are traditional enough to impress authentic highlife fans, but suitably new enough to breathe new life into the genre. There are, for example, a couple of great acoustic moments (check, in particular, "Yaa Amponsaah") amongst the celebratory dancefloor jams and high-on-life anthems.
05 Apr 11
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
Played by: Barrio Jazz Gang
Review: In afrobeat circles, Ghanaian highlife guitarist Ebo Taylor has long been regarded as one of the scene's most undervalued talents. During his golden period during the 1970s, Taylor was responsible for some landmark recordings - not just as an artist, but composer, arranger and producer. This comprehensive set from serial crate-diggers Strut revisits that fertile period, gathering together the best of Taylor's solo, collaborative and production work. For those with a passing interest in afrobeat and highlife, it's near-essential. Highlights come thick and fast, from the strangely spaced-out grooves of "Peace On Earth" and lazy afro jazz-funk of "Ohiana Sua Efir" to the deep fried highlife disco-funk of "Yes Indeed" and epic American R&B stylings of "Aba Yaa".
26 Oct 10