Gyedu-Blay Ambolley – 11th Street Sekondi

Album Review | Agogo Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

The award-winning Ghanaian saxophonist and singer Gyedu-Blay Ambolley returns with an album of feel good songs, each of which is an indication that Highlife is alive and well. His twelfth album release since 1973, 11th Street Sekondi appears to continue from where the late Fela Kuti left off, albeit in much shorter portions. With Afrobeat being very much the order of the day, Ambolley’s arrangements occasionally come very close to the Kuti style, notably the engaging “I No Dey Talk I Do Dey Lie” and “Who Made Your Body Like Dat”.

Known as an early pioneer of Rap, Ambolley’s rich baritone has become widely known both on home turf and throughout the world, the title of this album a direct reference to the district of West Ghana, where the musician was raised. If the sprawling “Ignorance” delivers its ‘call and response’ message to a driving beat, “Who Go Pay” takes on a much more joyful attitude, a song to bring a bit of sunshine to these bleak winter months.

Choice Track: “I No Dey Talk I Do Dey Lie” (NSV 492)