While Ebo Taylor's name is not familiar to most as one of the pioneers of Afro-beat, it should be. Taylor, the Ghanian composer, arranger, guitarist, and vocalist has been making music since the 1950s, and studied with Fela Kuti at the Eric Guilder School of Music in London from 1962 until 1965. Rather than go the solo path, he opted instead for Accra's studio scene, where he appeared on dozens of singles and albums . He cut a self-titled solo album in 1977 on the local label Essiebons. Tracks from it, another album entitled Conflict, and various singles have appeared in recent years on various European compilations. The Strut imprint, not content to let Taylor's name languish in obscurity, put its money where its mouth was, and paired him with the Afrobeat Academy of Berlin, which includes guitarist J. Whitefield of the Whitefield Brothers and various guests from Europe and Africa.
Soulful Strut is a typically smooth and swinging date from Grover Washington, Jr. Occasionally, the production by Walter Afanasieff is too slick and commercial, diluting the impact of Washington's subtle, relaxed groove. Fortunately, Washington's instrumental skills cut through the gloss, making Soulful Strut another worthy record for mainstream soul-jazz fans.
Dr. Wu' a.k.a. Jim Ashworth and Bryan Freeze have up until now, been deeply rooted in Texas Blues with the help of such players as the great Buddy Whittington, Mouse Mayes, Red Young, and other top musicians. Now with their 5th release they are broadening their horizons; branching out with new genres of compositions like "Buddy's Bolero" and "Baby I Love You" as well as new rockin' Texas Blues, and the return of the original vocalist Charlie Bassham …all of which make "Ridin' with Dr. Wu' Vol. 5 their best album to date!
An eclectic mix of American, African, and Caribbean music with strong rhythmic aspects. This CD has the ability to make the listener jump, dance, and listen, depending on what mood the individual is in while cruising the grooves. Leonard King was born in Detroit, Michigan where he has been able to absorb the multi-cultural musics of the entire metro area. He has performed with many artists such as Donald Byrd, Johnnie Taylor, Al Green, Herb Ellis, Barbara Dane, Eddie Kendricks, Pigmeat Markham, James Carter, and many others.