Ebo Taylor is still at it. Although in his mid-80s, the Ghanaian bandleader, songwriter and composer is still recording and releasing music, and we’ve got the exclusive first listen right here, as well as a deep cut from Ebo’s past.
First, from the upcoming release Ebo Taylor Presents The Saltpond City Band:
The Saltpond City Band has been Taylor’s group for about the last five years. After a stint with Berlin’s Afrobeat academy, Taylor decided he wanted a group to work with in Ghana, that could practice as long as he wanted and was steeped in the highlife and other Ghanaian genres that underpinned Taylor’s funky fusions. They were featured on his last studio album Yen Ara. Recording on this new album began about a year ago, in the studio of Roy X Taylor, Ebo’s youngest son, with most of the major recording done in Weija, Accra’s Groove House. The album is expected to arrive in all digital outlets and American record stores in two months or so.
Taylor’s project consultant on the release also sent over something that all you cratediggers are going to love. After Ebo and Gyedu Blay Ambolley left the Uhuru Dance Band in the early ‘70s, they formed the much more funk-oriented Apagya Show Band, which has become a reliable, energetic infusion to any ‘70s-80s Afrofunk compilation. The label Essiebons has reissued a compilation of the group's work in Ghana, with an eye for the international market. It is undeniably sublime.
It's been a rough summer for iconic 20th century bandleaders, so it's all the more refreshing to hear from one of our favorite—and most tireless—octogenarians.