You may recall me writing about Ghanaian artist, Ebo Taylor back in February this year after UK label, Mr Bongo reissued Ebo Taylor and the Pelican’s self-titled album in November 2017. Fusing highlife with soul, funk and jazz, Ebo Taylor was often accompanied by his bands the Blue Monks, Sweet Beans and the Pelicans.
Ever since Ebo Taylor emerged in the late 1950’s he has been an intrinsic figure in the ever-evolving afro-funk scene, fronting bands such as the Ghana Black Star Band (featuring Osei and Sol Amarfio from Osibisa) and later the Uhuru Dance Band back in Ghana. Whilst studying in London in the 60’s he met Fela Kuti and, like Fela himself, has always pushed and pioneered new sounds.
Now, at the tender age of 82, the composer, arranger, guitarist and vocalist has returned with what is perhaps his “finest album to date” (as quoted by the man himself!).
Yen Ara was released at the beginning of last month and contains nine new tracks, all of which were produced by Justin Adams (Tinariwen, Rachid Taha, Robert Plant). Today’s song is the album’s title track and I love it because it is bright and vibrant, bursting with joyous horns and dance-crazy percussion, whilst smooth guitar solos pave the way for mellow vocal harmonies.. Check it out above and listen/purchase the whole album from here.
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