Appia Kwa Bridge (Strut Records, 2012)
Looking to add some razor-sharp kicks to your music collection? Well, look no further than Ebo Taylor’s Appia Kwa Bridge. Set for an April release on Strut Records, Appia Kwa Bridge a bold and hip look into the collaboration between Ghanaian highlife guitar Taylor and Berlin-based Afrobeat Academy musicians.
As composer, musician, bandleader and producer, Mr. Taylor has reigned as a significant figure over Ghanaian music for more than sixty years with such stellar highlife bands as Stargazers, Broadway Dance Band and Black Star Highlife Band with recordings such as Life Stories and Afro-Beat Airways to his credit. With their previous recording Love And Death and their 2010 tour that included a spot at WOMAD, Mr. Taylor and Afrobeat Academy return to their tapestry of sound in eight luxurious fat tracks for Appia Kwa Bridge.
Mr. Taylor explains, “I wanted to go back to a highlife feeling with this album. The songs are very personal and it is an important part of my music to keep alive many traditional Fante songs, war chants and children’s rhymes.”
In a series of tracks ripe with catchy tracks wrapped up with driving rhythms, funky guitar and bass lines and enough tight and neat brass to keep the whole thing moving, Appia Kwa Bridge overflows with the goodness of pure highlife. With Mr. Taylor penning all of the tracks, Appia Kwa Bridge reflects the musician and composer’s internal life with the Fante war song “Ayesama” and the ode to beauty of a woman on “Ya A Amponsah.” Some of the gems on this recording include the richly ripe “Abonsam,” the breezy “Nsu Na Kwan” and the deliciously funky “Kruman Dey.” Highlife fans will fall for title track “Appia Kwa Bridge” and the poignantly intimate “Barrima,” as Mr. Taylor sings about the loss of his wife Selina.
Appia Kwa Bridge is a tight, neat triumph of the Ghanaian highlife sound.
Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.