July 28, 2015

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

ARTIST: Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band
TITLE: Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band
LABEL: Strut
65-year-old Pat Thomas of Ghana has been called “The Golden Voice of Africa;” certainly his singing is one of the quintessential elements of highlife music of the 1970s and 80s, a classic period for this venerable, mutable genre. Here he’s teamed with his peers Ebo Taylor (whose immediately recognizable bebop-inflected horn arrangements grace tracks 2, 5 and 8), Fela’s original drummer Tony Allen (giving an Afrobeat feel to 3, 5 and 8), bassist Ralph Karikari (1) and trumpeter Osei Tutu (4). Behind them are co-producers Ben Abarbenal-Wolff (Afrobeat Academy) and Kwame Yeboah, musicians a generation younger than Thomas who are inspired by the great music of Thomas, Taylor, K. Frimpong, and the other stars of 70s Ghana. I could say that they recreate that era’s sound, but I’d be selling them short – this is outstanding music of 2015 with deep historical roots. Tracks 1, 2 and 6 are remakes of older Thomas hits; 6 has a Congolese / Latin feel. 4 has the K. Frimpong sound, sort of halfway between highlife and Afrobeat; 5 could be off one of Taylor’s old albums; and 8 is really the culmination of everything this project is about.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    4    5    6    8

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