Ebo Taylor

Ebo Taylor (born 1936) is a Ghanaian guitarist, composer, bandleader, record producer and arranger focusing on highlife and afrobeat music.

Ebo Taylor
Ebo Taylor & Band 2017 at Club W71, Weikersheim
Ebo Taylor & Band 2017 at Club W71, Weikersheim
Background information
Birth nameDeroy Taylor
Born (1936-01-06) January 6, 1936 (age 85)
Cape Coast, Ghana
OriginAccra, Ghana
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Guitarist
  • singer
  • composer
  • bandleader
  • record producer
Years activeLate 1950s–present[1]
Labels
Associated acts

CareerEdit

Ebo Taylor has been a pivotal figure on the Ghanaian music scene for over six decades. In the late 1950s he was active in the influential highlife bands the Stargazers and the Broadway Dance Band. In 1962, Taylor took his group, the Black Star Highlife Band, to London. In London, Taylor collaborated with Nigerian afrobeat star Fela Kuti as well as other African musicians in Britain at the time.[2][3]

Returning to Ghana, Taylor worked as a producer, crafting recordings for Pat Thomas, C. K. Mann, and others, as well as exploring solo projects, combining traditional Ghanaian material with afrobeat, jazz, and funk rhythms to create his own recognizable sound in the 1970s. He was the inhouse guitar player, arranger, and producer for Essiebons, founded by Dick Essilfie-Bondzie.[4]

Taylor's work became popular internationally with hip-hop producers in the 21st century.[5] In 1992, Ghetto Concept included his afrobeats in their music. In 2008, Ebo Taylor met the Berlin-based musicians of the Afrobeat Academy band, including saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff, which led to the release of the album Love and Death with Strut Records (his first internationally distributed album).[1][6][7] In 2010, Usher used a sample from Taylor's song "Heaven" for "She Don't Know" with Ludacris.[8]

He collaborated with the Afrobeat Academy in Berlin in 2011. In 2017, his Ghanaian funk anthem "Come Along," was popular among DJs.[4]

The success of Love and Death prompted Strut to issue the retrospective Life Stories: Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973–1980, in the spring of 2011. A year later, in 2012, a third Strut album, Appia Kwa Bridge, was released. Appia Kwa Bridge showed that at 77 years old, Taylor remained creative, mixing traditional Fante songs and chants with children's rhymes and personal stories into his own sharp vision of highlife.[9]

He performed at the 2015 edition of the annual Stanbic Jazz Festival along with Earl Klugh, Ackah Blay and others.[10]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Life Time Achievement Award - 2014 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.[11]

Lifetime Achievement Award – 2019 Highlife Music Awards.[12]

Music Legend of the year - 2019 Ghana Business Awards.[13]

 
Ebo Taylor watching a musical performance by young Ghanaian artists.

Selected discographyEdit

Albums
  • Palaver (Tabansi/BBE Music), 2019 (rec. 1980)
  • Yen Ara (Mr. Bongo), 2018
  • Appia Kwa Bridge (Strut Records) 2012
  • Life Stories: Best of Ebo Taylor 1973–80 (Strut Records) 2012
  • Love And Death (Strut Records), 2010
  • Abenkwan Puchaa (Essiebons), 2009
  • Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas, Uhuru Yenzu - Hitsville Re-Visited (LP) (Essiebons), 1982
  • Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor - Calypso "Mahuno" and High Lifes Celebration (Pan African Records), 1980
  • Ebo Taylor & Uhuru Yenzu - Conflict (Essiebons), 1980[14]
  • Ebo Taylor & Saltpond Barkers Choir - Me Kra Tsie (LP) (Essiebons), 1979
  • Twer Nyame (Philips-West African-Records) 1978
  • Ebo Taylor (Essiebons), 1977
  • My Love And Music (LP) (Gapophone Records), 1976
Contributing artist

The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Africa (World Music Network) 2012

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Amigone, Marc, "Love and Death, the New Album from Ghanaian Legend Ebo Taylor", Huffington Post. 25 March 2016
  2. ^ "An Introduction to the Funky Ghanaian Afrobeat of Ego Taylor", The Vinyl Factory. 24 March 2016.
  3. ^ His Name is Ebo Taylor Kofi Musings. 24 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b Ekow Barnes. "The Ghanaian musician who helped put West African music on the world map". CNN. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  5. ^ Ross, Will, "Ghana's Ebo Taylor on his new popularity", BBC News. 25 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Ebo Taylor | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  7. ^ Denselow, Robin "The playlist: world and folk music – Caetano Veloso, Moriarty, Shirley Collins, Ebo Taylor and more". The Guardian. 25 March 2016.
  8. ^ Denselow, Robin, "Ebo Taylor review – lend your ears to an Afrobeat story of love and death", The Guardian. March 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Hip Deep Ghana 1: Ebo Taylor | and the Pioneers of Afro Funk". Afropop. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Earl Klugh arrives in Ghana for Stanbic Jazz Festival". GBN. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Video: Ebo Taylor receives Life Time Achievement Award at 2014 VGMA Industry Awards - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  12. ^ Shine1 (9 November 2019). "Highlife Music Awards 2019 Receives Praises From Industry Players". Shine publications. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  13. ^ Acquah, Edward. "Ebo Taylor receives Music Legend honorary at 2019 Ghana Business Awards | Kasapa102.5FM". kasapafmonline.com. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  14. ^ Dineen, Donal, "Sunken Treasure: Ebo Taylor & Uhuru Yenzu", Irish Times. 25 March 2016.