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E.T. Mensah

  • Day by Day [RetroAfric, 1992] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Day by Day [RetroAfric, 1992]
This isn't the music that revolutionized Ghanaian highlife circa 1948--it's the music that rationalized it a decade or so later. On the sweeter, simpler, early-'50s All for You, you can hear how Mensah must have jolted local swing worshipers when he pared down the horn sections and added beaters and shakers from Cuba and Trinidad. But like so many musicianly concepts, his synthesis flowers as his players gain assurance and chops, and for that matter so do his songs, rendered in six different languages and (at least) five different rhythms. Though the segue from the Twi "Traditional" "Kaa No Wa" to the Spanish "Congo" "Senorita" is genuinely surprising, it also makes perfect sense. It sounds like an artist at ease in a world of music that exfoliates out from the place he calls home. A-