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Life Stories

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Ghanaian guitarist Ebo Taylor created a name for himself not only as part of the highlife and Afrobeat scenes alongside artists such as Fela Kuti, but also as a much sought-after composer, producer, and arranger. This collection focuses on Taylor’s musical output in the ‘70s (1973-1980, to be precise), culling from recordings made under his own name and with short-lived bands like Super Sounds Namba and the Pelikans. Expanding on the well-rooted, guitar-based highlife sound popular in Ghana since the ‘50s, Taylor was an early proponent of melding bits of jazz and large doses of funk into the form. The coolly sophisticated “Aba Yaa” has a tropical, laid back feel, while tracks like “Victory” and “Peace On Earth” ride on funk grooves and “Tamfo Nyi Ekyir” and “Mumude” are tapestries of jazz rhythms.  Ebo’s well-known “Heaven” and “”Love and Death” are here, and since most of these recordings are difficult — if not impossible — to find, Life Stories is rather essential. (Don’t miss Ebo Taylor’s amazing 2010 release, Love and Death.)


Born: 1936 in GHANA

Genre: Africa

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in 1936, guitarist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer Ebo Taylor has been a vital figure on the Ghanaian music scene for over six decades. In the late '50s he was active in the influential highlife bands the Stargazers and the Broadway Dance Band, and in 1962 he took his own group, the Black Star Highlife Band, to London, which led to collaborations with Fela Kuti and other African musicians in Britain at the time. Returning to Ghana, he worked as a producer, crafting recordings for...
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