Ebo Taylor teams up again with Strut for a long overdue definitive compilation of his seminal 1970s recordings, ‘Life Stories’

During Ghana’s highlife explosion during the 1950s and ‘60s following wartime highlife pioneers like E.T. Mensah, Ebo Taylor made his name as a prolific composer, arranger and frontman leading two of Ghana’s greatest big bands – Stargazers and Broadway Dance Band. Moving to London to study music in 1962 alongside West African luminaries like Fela Kuti and Peter King, Taylor formed the Black Star Highlife Band and began incorporating jazz elements into traditional highlife forms.

Returning to Ghana, Taylor became an in-house arranger and producer for Dick Essilfie-Bondzie’s Essiebons label, working with other major Ghanaian stars like C.K. Mann and Pat Thomas. Through the ’70s, he then recorded a number of solo projects, exploring unique fusions and borrowing elements from regional Ghanaian folk music, Afrobeat, jazz, soul and funk.

This compilation revisits this heyday of Taylor’s work, focusing on his solo albums and some of his lesser known side projects including the dynamite Apagya Show Band and short-lived Taylor-led combos Assase Ase, Super Sounds Namba and The Pelikans. The selection also touches on his writing and production work for C.K. Mann and a collaboration recording with fellow member of early ‘70s nightclub band Blue Monks, Pat Thomas.

Tracks include the anthemic ’Heaven’, sampled by Usher on his hit with Ludacris, ’She Don’t Know’, the original version of the poignant ’Love And Death’ and the rare 15-minute nugget, ’Aba Yaa’. The package features rare photos, original album artwork and sleeve notes by Soundway Records’ Miles Cleret.

Track Listing

CD 1 ·
1EBO TAYLOR HEAVEN
2EBO TAYLORATWER ABROBA
3EBO TAYLORVICTORY
4ASSASE ASEOHIANI SUA EFIR
5APAGYA SHOW BANDKWAKU ANANSE
6EBO TAYLORPEACE ON EARTH
7EBO TAYLORABA YAA
8PAT THOMAS & EBO TAYLORENE NYAME NAM !A! MENSURO
CD 2 ·
1APAGYA SHOW BANDTAMFO NYI EKYIR
2EBO TAYLORLOVE AND DEATH
3EBO TAYLOROHYE ATAR GYAN
4SUPER SOUNDS NAMBAYES INDEED
5APAGYA SHOW BANDMUMUDE
6EBO TAYLORWHAT IS LIFE
7C.K. MANN BIG BANDETUEI
8EBO TAYLOR & THE PELIKANSEGYA EDU

Other Releases from this Artist

Ebo Taylor
Love and Death
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Ebo Taylor
Appia Kwa Bridge
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Artwork

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infos

Label
Strut Records
Release Date
2012
Publishing
Shining Music
Management
Eric Trosset

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