Ebo Taylor

Born January 1936.

Biography

Ebo Taylor (born 1936) is a Ghanaian guitarist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer, focusing on highlife-style music. Highlife is characterised by jazzy horns and multiple guitars which lead the band.

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 Pat Thomas, C.K. Mann, and others, as well as exploring his own projects, combining traditional Ghanaian material with Afro-beat, jazz, and funk rhythms to create his own recognizable sound in the '70s. "Taylor's work became popular internationally with hip-hop producers in the 21st century, which led to the release of Love and Death on Strut Records in 2010, his first internationally distributed album." Its success prompted Strut to issue the stellar retrospective Life Stories: Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980, in the spring of 2011. A year later, in 2012, a third Strut album, the deeply personal Appia Kwa Bridge, appeared, and showed that at 77, Taylor was still intensely creative and focused, mixing traditional Fante songs and chants with children's rhymes and personal matters into his own sharp vision of highlife.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Appia Kwa Bridge

    Appia Kwa Bridge 2012

    Reviewed by Robin Denselow
    A fine new studio set mixing traditional sounds and sturdy funk.
  2. Review of Love and Death

    Love and Death 2010

    Reviewed by Robin Denselow
    One of the great under-acknowledged heroes of West African music.
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