Jan 26, 2010
The exceptional guitar player is considered as one of the most distinguished Highlife, Afro beat and jazz composers of Ghana. Between 1962 and 1965 he studied together with his friend Fela Kuti at the renowned Eric Guilder School of Music in London. As early as the 50th and 60th he caused quite a sensation as the head of the Stargazers Dance Band as well as the Broadway Band. In the early 70th he headed the best known Big Band of Ghana, the “Uhuru Band” (later called Uhurus) and so formed the Highlife.Since the 70th Taylor produced different albums as solo artist and developed more and more his own, innovative and distinctive style – recognisable for instance on his albums “Ebo Taylor and the Pelicans” or “Twer Nyame”. Ebo has been very active in numerous projects as session musician. Besides his solo works, he contributed significantly to the development of music in Ghana, as arranger and producer to the big labels in Ghana, like Essiebons and Gapophone. For these labels, being their musical director, he produced i.e. well known musicians such as C.K. Mann as well as the Apagya Show Band, a legendary All-Star-Highlife-Funk-Band, or artists like Pat Thomas, Jewel Ackah and Papa Yankson.
On December 11 2009, ace guitarist Ebo Taylor will launch his new, thirteen piece band "Bonze Konkoma" and their first 10-track CD.
The launching will take place at the G.B.C. Club House at 7 pm. Admission is free. Guest artists will include Ray Allen, saxophone, Osei Tutu, trumpet, and C.K. Mann, vocal.
Taylor was on a six week recording project in Germany recently (supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Center for World Music, University of Hildesheim/Germany) where he recorded a CD of his Highlife and Afrobeat compositions with the German band "Poets of Rhythm". He also played two concerts, in Paris and Frankfurt.
Taylor's career as an outstanding Ghanaian guitarist, composer and arranger spans over 50 years. His music and style have shaped Ghanaian popular music over the last five decades substantially.
He has recorded twelve albums, once led several well-known bands, among them the Uhuru Dance Band, was the musical director for Essiebons, Gapophone and Polygram, and composed and arranged numerous songs, also for other great musicians like C.K. Mann, Pat Thomas, Jewel Ackah, Papa Yankson and others. His classic Highlife and Afrobeat compositions include "Sika Enyiber", "Odo Ye Wu", "Ghana Be Ye Yie", "Dofo", "Twer Nyame", "Heaven", and "Come Along".
Two years ago, with the support of Essiebons Music in Accra, Taylor started a new band called "Bonze Konkoma". The band features talented young musicians from around the area of Saltpond in the Central Region where Taylor lives, as well as music graduates from the University of Ghana, where he has been teaching Highlife and Jazz Guitar for the last seven years.
Having researched into Fante Akan music extensively with Bonze Konkoma Taylor draws on musical traditions like Adowa, Asafo, Osode, and Adzewa (a Fante dance music form traditionally mainly played by women) which he creatively reinterprets into a new Ghanaian musical form strongly shaped by Taylors own musical style: a unique blend of Highlife, Jazz, and Afrobeat.
The use of a Konkoma drum ensemble alongside guitars, bass, keyboard, brass section, and a prime emphasis on vocal music, to transpose Taylor's compositions and arrangements into a modern band idiom presents the Bonze Konkoma as a highly interesting and unique project in contemporary Ghanaian music.
Labels: Ebo Taylor