IN THE world of Jazz, the Ghanaian multi-talented instrumentalist needs no introduction. Obviously, Nana Gyedu Blay Ambolley, the Simigwa-Do man as he is popularly known, is one of the few who have for the past years managed to use Jazz music not only to hoist GhanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flag high across the globe, but also prove themselves as top-notch musicians.
Ambolley had stayed in the Diaspora for over 14 years, playing Jazz music to portray AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heritage. He returned barely a year-and-a-half ago to start something in Ghana.
Last year he released some documentaries of his performances as well as a number of awards he
received from his musical tour of the world, which were telecast on TV and published in the print media. The hilarious Ambolley, who is so far the only highlife musician rubbing shoulders with hiplife musicians in terms of stage performances, is at it again. Ã‚Â
He has successfully and skillfully blended elements of West Afrikan Hi-Life music with American jazz to create extremely eclectic and electrifying Jazz music of all time.
Titled Ã¢â‚¬ËœHi life Jazz in AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, the 9-track album is a compilation of AmbolleyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 15 years performances in the Diaspora. The album, Ambolley said in an exclusive interview with BEATWAVES, would be out in the market very soon.
According to him, the Jazz album was an introduction to Ghanaians, especially jazz enthusiasts, the side of him that most of them were not aware of. Ã‚Â
Jazz, he noted, Ã¢â‚¬Å“is mathematics of music, and to be able to play it, one needs to put time on his or her instrument as well as knowing its chord changes and its relativesÃ¢â‚¬Â and that is exactly what he does.
Songs on the album include the American Jazz version of Fela KutiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœAfrican WomanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhose ChickenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, and Ã¢â‚¬ËœBlue MoonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœAll BluesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by Miles Davies, Ã¢â‚¬ËœAdureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by Rex Lawso, and Ã¢â‚¬ËœFootprintÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by Wayne Shorter among other tracks.
All of them are interesting and appealing to the ears. Most of them were recorded and mixed at Killzone Studios in Los Angeles, and edited and mastered by Wayne Peet and Ambolley himself.
By Francis Addo