[engl] Pat Thomas and Ebo Taylor are the Jagger and Richards of Nigerian Highlife. Drawn together by a mutual love of the genre – and an equally intense desire to stop it becoming moribund and bereft of ideas – Ghana’s two most progressive musicians added a western twist to this traditional form of African music and gave it relevance again. It was by no means a continuous process. Pat Thomas and Ebo Taylor first came together in 1966. Over the decades they’d venture off to play in different bands and even different countries. Periodically they’d get back together and implement the new ideas and skills they’d developed. In 1980, they met up in London and recorded Sweeter Than Honey, Calypso Mahuno. Composed and arranged by Taylor, burnished by Pat Thomas’s honeyed vocals, the album is a mix of highlife, calypso, funk, jazz, soul and pop. From the title track to ‘Ma Huno’, the album’s undisputed highlight, the ambition – and musicianship – is breathtaking. Sweeter Than Honey, Calypso Mahuno is arguably the purest example of this extraordinary musical partnership. And what Highlife, unshackled, can be.