Strut announce a new repressing of the essential Ebo Taylor compilation ‘Life Stories’ in its original 2LP gatefold format. Interest in the legendary Ghanaian highlife guitarist endures as he continues to tour worldwide with his Ghanaian band. Alongside the studio albums on Strut, Love And Death’ and ‘Appia Kwa Bridge’, ‘Life Stories’ brought together Taylor’s classic 1970s recordings onto one compilation for the first time.
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 Afro rock collective The Pelikans. The selection also touches on his writing and collaboration work with fellow member of early ‘70s 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 boss, Miles Claret.
Ebo Taylor ‘Life Stories will be re-released as a 2LP gatefold. He continues touring internationally throughout 2017.
A1. Ebo Taylor – Heaven
A2. Ebo Taylor – Atwer Abroba
A3. Ebo Taylor & Uhuru-Yenzu – What Is Life
B1. Apagya Show Band – Tamfo Nyi Ekyir
B2. Ebo Taylor – Peace On Earth
B3. Ebo Taylor & Uhuru-Yenzu – Victory
B4. Assase Ase – Ohiani Sua Efir
C1. Ebo Taylor – Aba Yaa
C2. Ebo Taylor – Ohye Atar Gyan
D1. Ebo Taylor & Uhuru-Yenzu – Love And Death
D2. Ebo Taylor & The Pelikans – Egya Edu
D3. Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor – Ene Nyame Nam !A! Mensuro