The influence of Ebo Taylor on Ghanaian music is not being celebrated enough. At 83 years, he is still touring, recording and producing songs. If he had been an American, Ebo Taylor would have been long presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Regardless this is Africa specially Ghana where the citizenry take delight in celebrating the dead. Anyway, Ebo Taylor at the peak of his career was pulled into the studio to work on an album christened “Palaver” for Chief Tabansi of Tabansi Records in the 1980s during a tour of Nigeria.
“Palaver”, a five track album was recorded by Ebo Taylor and his band as the contractual agreement stated. However, the album was never released until Peter Adarkwah of BBE Music signed off on a major multi-album reissue deal with Tabansi and its affiliated labels.
Chief Tabansi’s son, Joe informed Peter of the existence of this unreleased album. And like any astute music executive who knows the value of an Ebo Taylor record, the five song album was reissued to the hearing of the world.
“Palaver” is a five song album that solidifies the sound that has become associated with Ebo Taylor: a fusion of authentic African rhythms with western, mostly classical music elements to create a contemporary sound that is acclaimed as Afrobeat.
‘’Palaver’’, the album title happens to be the opening track. The song encompasses a variety of musical elements ranging from the big band highlife sound made popular by E.T. Mensah and his Tempos band in the 50s to the pioneering afrobeat sound of Mr. Ebo Taylor.
Human behavior is a central theme in most of his compositions as expressed on albums like his self-titled album Ebo Taylor, Yen Ara, Love and Death, Appia Kwa Brigade, Yen Ara. On ‘’Palaver’’, these themes are explored through the lens of life and hope.
The album is an enjoyable listen thanks to the quality of production, song sequencing and songwriting. This is not surprising considering Ebo Taylor is one of the best producers and music arrangers of his generation.
“Palaver’’ does not sound like a rushed project (if the narrative about him recording the album while on tour in Nigeria is considered). For lovers of true highlife music, this album is an exciting listen in any day.
Portion of text culled from culart.blog