Ebo Taylor
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Ebo Taylor

Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana

Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
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Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
03
Ebo Taylor @ Fiestasete

Sete, None, France

Sete, None, France

Jul
14
Ebo Taylor @ Sun Flower Fest

Fleurus, None, Belgium

Fleurus, None, Belgium

Jun
27
Ebo Taylor @ Sommarscen

Malmö, None, Sweden

Malmö, None, Sweden

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Music

Press


When one thinks of Afrobeat, it’s the mug of Nigeria’s Fela Kuti and his 1,000 watt smile that comes to mind. After all, he is the face of Afrobeat, what James Brown is to American funk. But in Kuti’s neighboring country was a composer, arranger, producer and guitarist who, unbeknownst to most, is considered almost as important to the genre. Surprisingly, the over-shadowed Ebo Taylor actually studied with Kuti from 1962 to 1965, at the Eric Guilder School of Music in London. Soon after, Taylor became a fixture in Ghana’s music scene, helping define the West African sound, studio session by studio session.

In 1977, years after gaining respect in Accra as a session player and arranger, Taylor released a self-titled solo record on the local Essiebons label. Good luck finding it. Still, you could easily hear a Taylor cut with some quick googling, likely on one of the many African comps that have come to fashion (he appears on Ghana Special, Afro-Beat Airways, and both Ghana Soundz volumes). So it’s fitting that Strut has given the now 74-year-old Taylor a chance to record another proper full-length, reimagining old standards and crafting original songs, too, backed by Berlin’s Afrobeat Academy.

In place of the raw antiqued crackle of his vintage material, here you have a glossed, digital soundstage for those same horn sections, noodling bass, keys, sunny guitars and omnipresent drums. On Love And Death, Taylor sticks with the style he played 40 years prior, singing in both English and the Akan dialect, in short, complimentary phrases. And though his voice may have aged, he retains the same swagger from yesteryear, able to keep up with the band and rudder them as needed, like the Godfather of Soul did with his JBs.

The album is remarkably well paced and cohesive. Of the non-singing tracks, “Kwame” is a tribute to the late Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president who famously championed Pan-Africanism. Over a funky wah guitar tapestry, rubbing against Hammond organs and a solid rhythm section, Taylor lays down some great guitar lines of his own — perhaps expressing what words cannot. This gives way to the more upbeat “Aborekyair Aba,” a seven-minute workout of interlocking grooves and spirited playing by all members, with female vocal accompaniments contrasting Taylor’s weathered chords.

It’s certainly nice to see the legacy of Kuti living on, and the proliferation of comps from labels like Soundway, Analog Africa and Strut continually prove his undeniable influence on the continent’s music, where hundred’s of bands bit his Afrobeat style. But the involution of digging deeper into a genre, with a collection of songs by a single artist — in this case, providing a timely rediscovery of Taylor in fine form — is sometimes all the more satisfying.
- Jon Dempsey - Duested Magazine


Strut records n'en finit plus de nous ressortir des pépites africaines et encore une fois, à l'image de la collaboration entre Mulatu Astatke et les Heliocentrics, le label allemand a monté une belle équipe. Composé d'Ebo Taylor et de l'Academie Afrobeat (certains issus des Poets Of Rhythm, collectif basé à Berlin), ce petit monde s'entend comme larron en foire.
Les sections cuivres se marient parfaitement avec la guitare d''Ebo Taylor, une ancienne gloire du Highlife (musique ghanéenne des années 50 , à l'origine de l'afrobeat, marquée par des cuivres jazzy et des guitares ). Sa voix, malgré les années passées est toujours là ( Obra et Love & Death )et accompagne vraiment bien l'ensemble. Cet album est l'occasion pour Ebo Taylor de nous rejouer certains de ses anciens standards et de nous proposer des nouvelles compositions. Avec un seul but en tête, maintenir en vie l'afrobeat et continuer l'oeuvre de Fela. C'est pas l'homme en slip blanc qui lui en voudra.
Sa sortie est prévue pour le 25 octobre 2010. - Julien Renou - Wegofunk


Discography

1977 - Ebo Taylor - Ebo Taylor
1979 - Ebo Taylor - Me Kra Tsie
1980 - Ebo Taylor & Uhuru Yenzu - Conflict
2010 - Ebo Taylor - Love And Death
2011 - Ebo Taylor - Life Story

Photos

Bio

One legendary guitarist has worked ceaselessly to develop exactly this sound, and in doing so, he’s made a music that is uniquely his own. He is Ebo Taylor.

Born in 1935 to a family of fisherman, Ebo showed promise as a guitarist at an early age and joined the legendary Broadway Band in it's original formation. In 1962, Ebo and fellow west African Fela
Kuti won a prestigious scholarship that brought him to London for 4 years. Ebo's friendship with Fela lasted over 30 years. He returned to Ghana in 1965 and became the leader and musical director of countless formations like the Stargazers Band, the Broadway Band, and the Uhuru Band, as well as mentoring young afrofunk bands like Sweet Beans and Marijata. A fearless composer, arranger, and solo artist who cut some of the best Highlife, Jazz and Funk tunes to come out of Africa during the 1970s, Ebo Taylor has embraced a fusion of traditional and Western forms of popular music.

This innovative and distinctive style is clearly recognizable on albums like “Ebo Taylor and the Pelicans,” “Twer Nyame,” or “My Love and My Music,” as well as on the albums of C. K. Mann or Pat Thomas that he composed for and arranged.

Coming to the wider attention of crate diggers in the last decade, it is his remarkably funky B-sides thathave since been reissued to much critical acclaim to a new generation of listeners.

Now, Ebo Taylor has joined with the Afrobeat Academy, Europe’s hottest proponents of afrofunk musicto record a new album that will surely launch his reputation as a master innovator, as great as anything to come from the coasts of Africa or the Caribbean with a sound in which everything is in it's place and designed for the ultimate destination: your hips.